Egypt court clears way for Salafist in race for top job (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) 04/11/12)
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Salafist politician Hazem Abu Ismail looks set to rejoin the
presidential race after a court ruled on Wednesday that his mother
was not a US citizen, the official MENA news agency reported.
Under the country´s electoral law, all candidates for the presidency,
their parents and their wives must have only Egyptian citizenship.
Egypt´s first presidential election since a popular uprising toppled
president Hosni Mubarak last year is scheduled for May 23 and 24.
Abu Ismail´s candidacy was in doubt last week when the electoral
commission said that his mother, Nawal Abdel Aziz Nur, had obtained
US citizenship in October 2006, which Abu Ismail repeatedly denied.
The Cairo administrative court "has ordered the interior ministry to
issue a certificate... to show that (Abu Ismail´s) mother has never
held another nationality other than her Egyptian nationality," MENA
"Hazem Abu Ismail has become a candidate again," state TV said.
Outside the courthouse in central Cairo, thousands of supporters
carrying Abu Ismail posters and waving Egyptian flags chanted "Allahu
Akbar" (God is the Greatest).
"Here is the president," they shouted, as they set off fireworks in
the crowded Dokki neighbourhood in Cairo, where traffic had ground to
"The ruling is (Abu Ismail´s) first vicitory in the presidential
race," said Khaled Shawki, 38, who runs Abu Ismail´s campaign in
Helwan, south of Cairo.
"Muslims in Egypt and particularly Salafists do not pose a threat to
anyone," said Amr al-Naggar, a 26-year-old student of medicine.
The electoral commission will later this week examine the candidacy
papers and issue a final list of approved candidates on April 26.
Abu Ismail advocates a strict interpretation of Islam similar to the
one practised in Saudi Arabia and has become a familiar sight in
Cairo, with his posters adorning many cars and micro buses.
Abu Ismail would compete with more moderate Islamist candidates such
as senior Muslim Brotherhood figure Khairat El-Shater and ex-
Brotherhood member Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh, as well as former regime
figures such as ex-intelligence chief Omar Suleiman and former
foreign minister Amr Mussa.
Islamists have made big strides since Mubarak´s ouster, winning
majorities in elections to both houses of parliament.
The Muslim Broterhood´s Freedom and Justice Party won the most seats
in parliamentary elections earlier this year, but the Salafists
captured nearly a quarter themselves. (Copyright © 2012 Agence France
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