Egyptian presidential candidates choose symbols for May vote
Ahram Online, Tuesday 24 Apr 2012
Presidential candidate Moussa will be a sun, Abul-Fotouh will be a horse, Sabbahi wanted an eagle, and Ali asked to be a tree; Ahmed Shafiq took a ladder but might not reach the top

A group of presidential candidates have chosen their voting-symbols today from 15 different emblems offered to them by the Supreme Presidential Electoral Committee (SPEC).

Candidates are identified on voting ballots by symbols, to facilitate voting for illiterate Egyptians who comprise more than 40 per cent of the country's 50 million-plus eligible voters.

The liberal-Islamist candidateAbdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouhhas chosen a horse symbol. Islamic thinkerMohamed Selim El-Awa picked an umbrella symbol.

The former head of the Arab LeagueAmr Moussahas opted for a sun voting-symbol.

The Muslim Brotherhood's candidate and head of its Freedom and Justice party, Mohamed Morsi, has picked a weighing scales voting-symbol.

Meanwhile, both the Nasserist candidateHamdeen Sabbahiand the leftist candidateKhaled Alihave declined the voting-symbols available on the SPEC's roster and each has chosen a different one, and are waiting for the SPEC 's reply to their requests.

Sabbahi has requested an eagle and Ali has requested a tree.

Meanwhile, Mubarak's former prime ministerAhmed Shafiq, who potentially faces elimination after the passage of a new law disenfranching top officials from the ousted regime,has chosen a ladder symbol.

Presidential elections will take place over two days, 23 and 24 May, and the president will be named on 21 June after a runoff voting round on 16 and 17 June.