Ruling Favors Conservative Egyptian Candidate (NY) TIMES) By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK CAIRO, EGYPT 04/12/12)
NEW YORK TIMES
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CAIRO ó An Egyptian court on Wednesday unexpectedly declined to
disqualify for the moment an ultraconservative Islamist from running
for president because of his motherís status as an American citizen.
The candidate, Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, is a front-runner in the polls
and is known for denouncing American influence over Egypt. But his
eligibility to run is in question because Egyptian law prohibits
candidates with at least one parent who held foreign citizenship.
Before she died in the past few years, Mr. Abu Ismailís mother had
become an American citizen, traveling with a United States passport
and registering to vote in Los Angeles.
Late on Wednesday, however, a court ruled in Mr. Abu Ismailís favor
in a lawsuit he had filed demanding that the Interior Ministry prove
his mother had become an American citizen. The ministry was unable to
produce any official Egyptian documents confirming that.
By midnight, Mr. Abu Ismailís supporters were celebrating in the
streets. Still, the ruling on Wednesday did little to settle the
issue. The national election commission will make the final
determination of his eligibility, and it could disqualify him based
on the ample American documentation of the motherís citizenship.
If Mr. Abu Ismail is disqualified, his exit from the race would
benefit the two more moderate Islamist candidates: Khairat el-Shater
of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a liberal
former Brotherhood leader. (Copyright 2012 The New York Times Company
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