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Presidential hopeful Abu-Ismail supporters continue sit-in outside electoral commission

Supporters of disqualified Egypt presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail began a sit-in on Monday night until his status is settled by the SPEC Tuesday; verdict on Suleiman and El-Shater candidacies also expected

Ahram Online, Tuesday 17 Apr 2012
Abu Ismail-Large
Abu-Ismail supporters demonstrate in front of State Council on Wednesday (Photo by: Sara Mourad)
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Hundreds of supporters of presidential hopeful Sheikh Hazem Abu-Ismail began an open ended sit-in on Monday night, insisting that they will not leave until the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) announces its decision about his appeal.

Abu-Ismail is challenging the SPEC's decision to disqualify him from the presidential race set for May on the grounds that his late-mother held the US nationality.

Gamal Saber, the manager of the "Hazemoon," a support campaign for the Salafist Sheikh, said that the protesters will remain in front of the commission's headquarters in Heliopolis, Cairo, until an announcement is made.

"The law gives us the right to protest and we are now holding a civilised sit-in in front of the commission and are not holding up traffic or causing any problems," Saber told Ahram Online.

The State Council administrative court had returned last Wednesday a verdict mandating that the Ministry of Interior hand Abu-Ismail an official document stipulating that the ministry cannot prove that his mother held a foreign nationality.

As Abu-Ismail's supporters celebrated the ruling, legal experts stressed that it does not prove his mother did not have dual nationality.

The (SPEC), however, disqualified 10 contenders from Egypt’s anticipated presidential elections on Saturday, including Abu-Ismail, ex-intelligence chief Omar Suleiman and Muslim Brotherhood leading figure Khairat El-Shater.

Abu-Ismail charges that the evidence SPEC claims was sent to it by the US government to prove that his late-mother held an American citizenship is shaky.

The verdict for his appeal, as well as appeals by Suleiman and El-Shater, will be announced on Tuesday.

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