Ex-foreign minister heads presidential field in Egypt

May 18, 2012 at 6:52 PM
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CAIRO, May 18 (UPI) -- Former Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa appears to be the man to beat in a crowded field as the country's presidential election approaches.

Most opinion polls show Moussa about 20 points ahead of his nearest challenger, National Public Radio reported. The 75-year-old Moussa, who served as secretary-general of the Arab League for 10 years after a decade in President Hosni Mubarak's government, is the oldest candidate of the 11 running for president and has the most government experience and the closest ties to the old regime.

Egyptians go to the polls Wednesday and Thursday. Expatriates have already cast their ballots.

While opponents say Moussa will bring back the corruption of the past if he wins, experts say his experience is an asset for much of the electorate.

"There are a lot of people who are very disturbed about what is happening in Egypt and remember, this was an urban uprising, not a rural one," Hisham Kassem, a publisher and political analyst, told Voice of America. "And, the rural vote is very pro-conservative, pro-stability, so I think these are his strong points."

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