Ten candidates forbidden to run to Egyptian presidency

If anyone wondered how Egypt's current regime plans on maintaining its hold of the country's, despite the Islamists decision to try and win the presidential elections, a clear answer has been given by the disqualification of 10 nominees from running to the presidency.
The Islamists who have tried to use their power in the legislative branch to stop Mubarac-related persons from taking place in the elections are now discovering that the old elite is not less willing to do what it takes in setting the rules of the game in a manner that will ensure victory.

According to Reuters, 10 of the 23 candidates had been disqualified from the race. The 3 most notable figures are -
  • Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, a Salafi, was disqualified because his mother held U.S. citizenship (He denies this fact).
  •  Khairat al-Shater (of the The Muslim Brotherhood) was disqualified because of a criminal record (He claims the record is a result of the authorities persection because of his political activity).
  • Omar Suleiman, formerly The chief of intelligence, was disqualified for not following the requirements regarding the geographic spread of persons supporting his nomination for presidency.
As it was expected that the elections would go to a second round in June, it now appears that the electoral map is redrawn. The remaining leading figures are -
  • Abdel Moneim Abul-Fotouh who is percieved as the most liberal of the leading Islamist candidates;
  •  Amr Moussa, the former foreign minister and  Secretary General of the Arab League, who is perceived as the consensus candidate of the secular Egyptians;
As one truly finds it hard that a person of Suleiman's experience will make a stupid beaurocratic error as the one presented as the cause for his disqualification, one cannot help but feel that this has been an orchestrated action, planned in advance, aimed at convincing the majority of Egyptians in the fairness of the decision that take out of the race the most prominent Islamist figures (which are not moderate enough in the eyes of the current regime).

As it can be expected that followers of the disqualified persons will not accept the decision peacefully, it is safe to assume that the council of generals ruling Egypt are willing to take large risks now, to prevent larger risks in the coming future.

What remains to be seen is how will the Islamists respond. Are they going to unite behind the moderate Islamist nominee, with the hope of using the years to come and the democratic mechanisms for a long term change (in a way similar to the one which has been taking place in Turkey) ?  Or will they consider the new situation a proof for the Elite's unwillingness to change the rules of the game, and will seek any form of protest to try and change the decision ? As far as one can believe the polls, Amr Moussa who was the leading nominee in polls taken before this decision, is the person most benefited by the decision. Moussa, a part of the Egyptian Elite, is probably the Army's most desired nominee.  

However one looks at the evolving situation in Egypt, one thing is clear - these are intersting times in Egypt.

[due credit: I first read of the presidential elections commission's decision on the blog Elder of Zion.]

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