Egypt’s Presidential List Finalized
Egypt’s Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) announced on Thursday its final list of candidates whom are eligible to run in the presidential elections. Thirteen candidates were accepted, including Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, former Arab League head Amr Moussa, and moderate Islamist Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh. Ahmed Shafiq had initially been disqualified after the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) ratified a law that would ban former high-ranking Mubarak officials, but the SPEC accepted Shafiq’s appeal of the decision.
In response, tens of thousands protested in Tahrir against the SCAF and the presidential candidacy of former regime figures. The Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups have called (Arabic) for protests every Friday until the SCAF hands power over. The SPEC sued former Muslim Brotherhood candidate Khairat al-Shater after he made claims of SCAF influence upon the SPEC’s decision. Meanwhile, Islamist groups including al-Gama’a al-Islamiya criticized (Arabic) the decision to exclude Islamist Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, while allowing Shafiq to run. Salafi groups have called for unity among Islamists to support one candidate as to not split the Islamist vote, while leftist and secular candidates scheduled meetings to back one “revolutionary candidate”.