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Egypt former spy chief Omar Suleiman ends presidential bid

Mubarak's intelligence chief says he couldn't meet requirements to become a presidential candidate; some observers say he was ineligible to run because as a former spy chief his name did not appear on electoral roll

MENA, Ahram Online, Thursday 5 Apr 2012
Omar Suleiman
Former Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman, announces that he won't run for presidency (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's former spy chief and vice president Omar Suleiman has announced he will not run for president due to the difficult political situation and because he cannot fulfil the conditions required to become an official candidate.

The veteran Mubarak-era spymaster issued a statement to his supporters Wednesday to thank them for their efforts.

"The country is going through one of the most difficult and important periods in its modern history," he said in the statement.

"I tried until dawn yesterday to overcome the obstacles I faced relating to the current situation and the administrative, organisational and financial requirements to become a candidate. However, I found them to be beyond my capacity to fulfil. If I do otherwise [try to overcome these obstacles] I would be betraying the principles I've believed in my whole life. Therefore, I apologise for not responding to your call, maybe for the first time ever, due to my desire to preserve my cherished past.

"(...) My brothers, sisters, sons and daughters, by announcing today my decision not to run - with all my respect to all those who thought I was fit for it, I appreciate the confidence you placed in me and I hope this great country takes the correct path to the future."

As a former spy chief, Suleiman was not included on the electoral roll which is a requirement of any presidential candidate. Hence, he may have been ineligible to run for president.

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