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Prominent Publisher Kassem Calls Egypt's Pres. Candidates 'Amateurish'

An interview with Egyptian journalist and analyst Hisham Kassem on Egypt’s troubled political scene. Kassem spoke to Al-Monitor's Sophie Claudet about the candidacies of former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman and the two Muslim Brotherhood nominees, and about the implications of the constituent assembly's suspension.
Supporters of presidential candidate and Egypt's former vice president Omar Suleiman, cheer while carrying banners bearing images of him, as Suleiman presented recommendation documents to the Higher Presidential Elections Commission (HPEC) headquarters in Cairo April 8, 2012.The intelligence chief of Egypt's deposed leader Hosni Mubarak formally joined the race for the presidency on Sunday, a last-minute entrance that raises the heat in a contest pitting former regime figures against newly-assertive Islamis

It is now official: some 20 candidates will be contesting Egypt’s presidential poll next month, pending a formal approval by the electoral commission. Among them are Mubarak’s much-reviled former intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, as well as two candidates from the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, even though the Islamic group had promised it would not run. Separately but of utmost significance for the country’s future and stability, the assembly in charge of drafting a new constitution was suspended by a Cairo court on April 10 [2012] over the fact it does not reflect the diversity of Egyptian society. To shed some light on Egypt’s troubled political scene, Al-Monitor spoke to prominent Egyptian journalist and analyst Hisham Kassem.

Al-Monitor Who would have thought that Mubarak’s former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman would run? The man was part of a regime accused of corruption and human-rights abuse.

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