Suleiman Nomination Causes Stir In Egyptian Presidential Election

Article Summary
The nomination of former Egyptian intelligence chief and vice president Omar Suleiman to the presidency has triggered fears that Mubarak’s regime is trying to reconstitute itself. The Muslim Brotherhood has rejected his nomination, and more than 40 political groups have called for a mass demonstration on April 20. Siham Boursouti reports.

The deadline for nominating candidates for the Egyptian presidential elections has passed. The Higher Elections Commission will soon announce the final list of candidates, and has stated that as of now, there are 32 partisan and independent candidates.

But Egyptian political circles and opinion polls suggest that only five candidates have a chance of becoming president. They are Amr Moussa, Khairat Shater, Omar Suleiman, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, and Ahmed Shafiq. These most viable contenders are followed by Hamdeen Sabahi and Ayman Nour, after Hazem Salah Abu Ismail's disqualifcation due to his mother's US nationality was confirmed.

Senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Dr. Hamdi Hassan considered the nominations of former Egyptian intelligence chief and vice president Omar Suleiman and former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq for the presidency an attempt to overturn the revolution and reconstitute the Mubarak regime. Also, more than 40 political groups have stated that they reject and will protest the nomination of Omar Suleiman, calling for a mass demonstration on April 20th.

At the Muslim Brotherhood’s administrative office in Alexandria, Hamdi Hassan told El-Khabar that if Omar Suleiman becomes president, there will be a second revolution. He said, "There are doubts about the military junta’s role in Suleiman’s nomination and about how Omar Suleiman had the courage to nominate himself for such a high office. This shows that the former regime is trying to reconstitute itself and reappear on the political scene. But if this happens, it will trigger anger in the revolutionaries’ hearts and will lead to a second revolution." He stressed that nominating actors from the deposed regime will increase the roles of the US and Israel, which are trying to preserve their "strategic treasure."

Hamdi Hassan expected a tough competition among the businessmen Khairat Shater and Dr. Mohamed Morsi, the candidates from the Freedom and Justice Party, and Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, who split from the Brotherhood.

In the same context, he pointed out that some political leaders are seriously trying to pass a law preventing the old regime’s leaders from nominating themselves to the elections. That legal proposal was put forward by the Wasat Party before the 26th of this month.

At another level, a number of activists and revolutionaries called for a mass demonstration in Tahrir Square, downtown Cairo, on April 20 under the banner "Our Revolution Will not Die. Together Against the Nomination of Omar Suleiman.” Others called for a week-long sit-in at Tahrir Square to express their anger at what is happening in the political and economic arenas.

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