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FACTDROP: Egyptian court ruling keeps Salafist candidate in race for president


Egyptian court ruling keeps Salafist candidate in race for president

Πηγή: FP
By Mary Casey
April 12 2012

An Egyptian court ruled on Wednesday that it would not disqualify the ultraconservative Islamist Hazem Abu Ismail from running in presidential elections at this time. 

Concerns that the popular Salafist sheikh, one of the race's frontrunners, would be barred from the contest rose upon evidence that Abu Ismail's mother had become a U.S. citizen and applied to vote in Los Angeles toward the end of her life. 

According to Egyptian electoral law, applicants cannot stand for presidential elections if at least one parent or spouse holds foreign nationality. 

Abu Ismail filed a lawsuit calling for the interior ministry to prove his mother's U.S. citizenship, which it was unable to do. 

Thousands of Egyptians rallying outside the courtroom celebrated the verdict. However, the decision is not final and a list of eligible candidates will be released by the national election commission on April 26 ahead of the first round of voting on May 23 and 24.

If Abu Ismail is still banned from candidacy, it will likely boost support for his more moderate Islamist competitors Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh and Khairat el-Shater, who also faces possible disqualification over a controversial pardon of a conviction under former President Hosni Mubarak.

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