|Egypt bars key candidates from elections|
Election panel excludes 10 presidential hopefuls, including Muslim Brotherhood candidate and ex-spy chief Omar Suleiman.
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2012 20:16
The head of Egypt's election commission has announced that 10 presidential hopefuls, including the country's ex-spy chief and other key candidates have been disqualified from running.
Farouk Sultan, the head of the Supreme Presidential Election Commission, said on Saturday that those excluded include Hosni Mubarak's former spy chief Omar Suleiman, Muslim Brotherhood chief strategist Khairat el-Shater and hard-line lawyer-turned-preacher Hazem Abu Ismail.
He declined to give details on the reasons for their disqualification.
According to election rules, candidates who have been disqualified can appeal the decision within 48 hours.
A council of military generals has been governing Egypt since Mubarak was swept from power a year ago in a popular
uprising against his rule.
Abu Ismail's candidacy has been in doubt since the election commission said it had received notification from US
authorities that his late mother had an American passport, a status that would disqualify him from the race.
Abu Ismail followers have held several demonstrations to warn against any move to disqualify their candidate.
On Friday they besieged the headquarters of the election commission, forcing it to evacuate the premises.
Abu Ismail's lawyer attacked the decision to disqualify the ultra-conservative Salafi and others from the race on Saturday,
saying he expected a "major crisis".
"The man heading this committee has never been independent. This elimination was dictated to him and he is working under the guidance of the military council," Nizar Ghorab told Reuters, referring to the head of Egypt's election commission.
"I expect a major crisis to happen in the next few hours," he said.
"We will not give up our right to enter the presidential race," said Murad Muhammed Ali.