Egyptian candidates fight for legitimacy

April 16, 2012 at 12:57 PM
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CAIRO, April 16 (UPI) -- It's too late for former Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman to enter the presidential race because he's missed a key deadline, the Muslim Brotherhood said.

A presidential election commission ruled last weekend that Suleiman couldn't run for president because he lacked the prerequisite number of signatures to get on the ballot.

Reem Mamdouh, a spokesman for Suleiman, said errors were made in getting the necessary signatures, the Egyptian Independent reports.

A party official from the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm said Suleiman's return to the race might be illegal because the April 8 deadline for candidacy applications has passed.

The Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliated Freedom and Justice Party have expressed concern about the political ambitions of former regime officials. The Islamic movement organized demonstrations last week that it said were in support of the country's revolution in 2011.

Khairat al-Shater, a candidate from the FJP, was blacklisted for a criminal record. The Muslim Brotherhood last week nominated FJP Chairman Mohamed Morsi as a backup candidate. He wasn't on the list of those barred from competing.

The Muslim Brotherhood took 20 percent of the parliamentary seats in 2005 elections by running as independent candidates.

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