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Ten candidates barred from Egypt election

April 14, 2012 at 5:03 PM

CAIRO, April 14 (UPI) -- Ten candidates, including two conservative Muslims, have been barred from the crowded Egyptian presidential race, the High Election Commission said Saturday.

Omar Suleiman, the former intelligence chief who served briefly as vice president before President Hosni Mubarak was ousted last year, was among those excluded, al-Shook reported. Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, who is supported by members of the ultraconservative Salafist Muslim sect, and Khairat al-Shater, the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, were also barred, Bikya Masr said.

There are now 13 presidential candidates. The election is scheduled for May 23 and May 24.

On Thursday, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, said the military will back no candidate, the report said.

From 1952 when a revolution headed by the Free Officers movement overturned the monarchy until last year, Egypt has been ruled by a series of authoritarian military leaders. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has served as an interim government.

Tantawi, speaking during military exercises, said the military has the best interests of the Egyptian state at heart. That means it will take no formal part in the election, he added.

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