Egypt Islamist registers for election amid fanfare (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) 03/30/12)
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Egyptian Islamist sheikh Hazem Abu Ismail kicked off his candidacy
for the presidency on Friday with a large motorcade that headed to
the electoral committee headquarters in Cairo.
Witnesses said dozens of vehicles packed with the ultra-
conservative´s supporters left a mosque with the statutory 30,000
endorsements from citizens required to register as a candidate.
Outside the mosque, they chanted "Look Obama, Sheikh Hazem is a
knowledgeable cleric," referring to US President Barack Obama.
Abu Ismail, who advocates a strict interpretation of Islam similar to
the one practised in Saudi Arabia, has become a familiar sight in
Cairo, with his posters adorning many cars and micro buses.
The presidential election scheduled for May will mark the beginning
of a handover of power by the ruling military to an elected civilian
leader, following last year´s popular uprising that overthrew veteran
strongman Hosni Mubarak.
Abu Ismail will compete with more moderate Islamist candidates as
well as former regime figures such as Amr Mussa, an ex-foreign
minister who headed the Arab League, and former prime minister Ahmed
Islamists have made big strides since Mubarak´s ouster, winning
majorities in elections to both houses of parliament.
The most powerful Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, is
considering going back on a decision not to field its own candidate
for president and may nominate one of its leaders for the race.
(Copyright © 2012 Agence France Presse. 03/30/12)
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