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WASHINGTON – The disqualification of three top political candidates in the coming elections in Egypt has thrown the process into turmoil, according to a report in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
The political situation also suggests an increasing effort by the military to influence the outcome of the presidential elections scheduled for late May.
The Supreme Presidential Election Commission disqualified and had removed from the ballot the three top candidates – Omar Suleiman, former intelligence chief under deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak; Khairat Shater, representing the Muslim Brotherhood; and Hazem Salah abu Ismail, representing the Islamist fundamentalist Salafi al-Nour party.
While each candidate was removed for different reasons, they have the right to appeal the determination of the election commission, which was created following the ouster of Mubarak by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
The final list of eligible candidates will be published on April 26.
With SCAF continuing to guide the process through the election commission, it gives resonance to growing concerns raised last week by Egyptians in Washington to G2Bulletin that the military ultimately plans a takeover of the presidency reminiscent of the 1952 military coup by then Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser, who became president four years later.
In turn, Nasser was succeeded by another military officer, Anwar el-Sadat, and upon his assassination he was succeeded by Mubarak. He had been air chief marshal and later served as vice president under Sadat.
The concerns for Egyptians in Washington over the military’s manipulation were echoed by Murad Muhammed Ali, campaign spokesman for Shater, of the Brotherhood. “We will not give up our right to enter the presidential race,” he said. “There is an attempt by the old Mubarak regime to hijack the last stage of this transitional period and reproduce” a system influenced by the military.
Ali added that the disqualification of the candidates was directed by the interim military leadership of the SCAF, who he said is trying to undermine Egypt’s revolution and reconstitute the Mubarak regime.
The SCAF supposedly is to hand over the reins of government to the next elected president on July 1.
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