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Islamists reject Omar Suleiman's presidential bid

Islamists denounce Omar Suleiman, Mubarak's long-time spy chief and at one point VP, for pitching his bid for Egypt's presidential seat

Ahram Online , Saturday 7 Apr 2012
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Several Islamist figures and entities condemn the announcement of Hosni Mubarak's former intelligence chief and vice president Omar Suleiman to run for president Friday.

The Muslim Brotherhood's political wing the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) released a statement on its Facebook page shortly after Suleiman's announcement on Friday that read, in an incredulous tone: "The revolution rejected him as vice president, and he still wants to run for president."

On 31 March the Brotherhood announced their nomination of their second-in-command, Khairat El-Shater, for presidency. Meanwhile rumours were floating that Suleiman might run in order to reinstate the old regime.

For his part, the senior figure from the moderate Islamist Al-Wasat Party, Mahmoud Mahsoub, said that Suleiman's announcement to run for president could prompt a second revolutionary wave in the country. Mahsoub wrote on his Twitter account on Friday after the official announcement that Suleiman "is undermining the people." He added that Suleiman would be the face of Mubarak's regime, as well as the current ruling military council, in the elections.

Moderate Islamist presidential candidate Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh also denounced Suleiman's presidency announcement.

"Our battle is that of revolution or no revolution. If those who negotiated on behalf of the revolutionaries' murderers pitch their bid for presidency, it insults those who have sacrificed their lives to put an end to the police state. Those who were able to bring down the head of a regime will know to how to remove its tails," Abul-Fotouh wrote on his official Twitter account Friday afternoon.

Egypt's former intelligence chief and vice president Omar Suleiman issued a statement on Friday afternoon announcing that he will run for president after a rally earlier on Friday in Abbassiya, Cairo where hundreds demanded Mubarak's long-time right-hand man run for president.

That previous Thursday, however, the 75-year-old Suleiman had just announced that he wouldn't run for the country's highest office due to the "difficult political situation and because I cannot fulfill the conditions required to become an official candidate."

The Salafist Nour Party, second majority holder in parliament, is yet to issue its stance on Omar Suleiman's bid, since party figures insist they will only announce the candidate it will support after all presidential hopefuls have registered.

Suleiman must, according to presidential electoral rules, collect 30,000 recommendation forms in order to run in Egypt's first presidential elections. Suleiman's campaign team has announced Friday that he will be submitting his application on Sunday, the last day allowed to receive applications by the High Presidential Elections Commission.

Presidential elections will take place on 23 and 24 May, and the president will be named on 21 June after a run-off voting round, if necessary, on 16 and 17 June.

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