Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

  • French journalists abducted in Syria freed

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • South Korea ferry captain defends decision to delay evacuation

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • In pictures: Good Friday celebrated across the globe

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Ukraine: ‘One bloody incident could scupper Geneva deal’

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • World honours Garcia Marquez’s magical literary legacy

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • Algeria's ailing Bouteflika clinches fourth term amid fraud claims

    Read more

  • Top Hollande adviser resigns over conflict of interest accusation

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

Africa

Former spy chief registers presidential bid as deadline closes

©

Video by Catherine VIETTE

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-04-09

Egypt's former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, a Hosni Mubarak loyalist who is close to the ruling military, announced his bid for Egypt's presidency in the late May first-round vote just minutes ahead of a registration deadline on Sunday.

AFP - Registration for candidacy in Egypt's first post-uprising presidential election closed on Sunday, amid last-minute twists and turns that have shaken the political race.

Around 20 people have registered so far, each hoping to lead the Arab world's most populous nation through a fragile transition following an uprising that toppled long-time president Hosni Mubarak last year.

The candidates include former Arab League chief Amr Mussa, ultra-conservative Islamist preacher Hazem Abu Ismail, the Muslim Brotherhood's Khairat El-Shater, former Brotherhood member Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh and Mubarak's last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq.

Former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, a stalwart of the Mubarak regime and seen as close to the ruling military, registered less than half an hour before the 2:00 pm (1200 GMT) deadline.

Military and riot police lined the entrance to the election commission headquarters in a Cairo suburb amid fears of possible clashes between supporters and foes of the presidential hopefuls.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took power when Mubarak was ousted, has said it will hand power to civilian rule in June after a president is elected.

The candidates reflect several political trends including that of the Islamists, who have gained power and prominence since the uprising, but the process has also given a renewed voice to members of the former regime.

Immediately after the uprising, anyone associated with Mubarak kept a low profile for fear of reprisals but after a year of political upheaval and insecurity, some are no longer shy about their support for ex-regime members.

"He will bring back stability and restore our dignity," said a Suleiman fan, holding a poster of the ex-general.

"The people want Omar Suleiman," his supporters chanted as he struggled to get through the crowds outside the election commission.

Mubarak's last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, as well as a former intelligence officer and a former state security officer are also competing in the race.

Several other candidates scrambled to register at the 11th hour including labour lawyer Khaled Ali and Abdallah al-Ashaal of the Salafist Al-Asala party.

The only woman to announce a bid, Bothaina Kamel, failed to gather the required 30,000 voter signatures to qualify but she told reporters she would "continue to work to develop the political conscience of the Egyptian people."

The registration process alone has been filled with drama, becoming the butt of jokes likening it to a soap opera.

Abu Ismail, known for his fervent anti-US rhetoric, was found to have a mother who held an American passport, potentially disqualifying him from the race.

The presidential election law states that all candidates must be born to Egyptian parents who have never held citizenship of another nation.

And the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, which had repeatedly vowed not to field a candidate and expelled Abul Fotouh from the movement for choosing to run, made a dramatic U-turn and put forward Shater, only to find out later that he too may be disqualified.

Politician Ayman Nur, whose unprecedented challenge to Mubarak in 2005 earned him worldwide recognition, was pardoned last week of a conviction for fraud, allowing him to run for the top job.

But on Saturday he was told that under the law he could only stand for the presidency six years after his pardon.

If Shater is banned under the same rule as Nur -- he was freed from prison in March 2011 -- the Muslim Brotherhood may instead field Mohammed Mursi, another candidate who has registered and is waiting in the wings just in case.

After news that Abu Ismail was probably out of the race, the ultra-conservative Gamaa Islamiya said they would field a candidate, Safwat Hegazy, but changed their mind at the very last minute.

The election commission is due to examine candidacies and look into any legal issues between April 13-15 before issuing a final list of approved candidates. Those rejected will have 48 hours to appeal.

The first round of the election is due to take place on May 23 and 24.
 

Date created : 2012-04-08

  • EGYPT

    Former spy chief announces run for presidency

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Muslim Brotherhood names presidential candidate

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Egypt's liberals, leftists quit constitutional assembly

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)