Abu-Ismail calls for boycott of SCAF meeting

Zeinab El-Gundy, Wednesday 2 May 2012

Disqualified Salafist presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail calls for political parties to boycott meeting with military junta after his supporters are killed at protest outside Defence Ministry Wednesday

Hazem Salah Abu Ismail
A man wears a cut-out of Salafi preacher and presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail (Photo: Reuters)

Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail, the Salafist disqualified from Egypt's presidential race due to his mother's US citizenship, has called on political parties to boycott Wednesday's scheduled meeting with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) after at least five of his supporters were killed at a protest outside the Defence Ministry in Abbasiya overnight.

"Our blood is being spelled on the streets and you are going to meet with the SCAF?" he said on his official Facebook page Wednesday morning.

Supporters of Abu-Ismail marched to the Defence Ministry Friday night to demand the SCAF cancel Article 28 of the constitutional declaration and for the dismissal of the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission which disqualified the Salafist from Egypt's presidential race.

Rumours circulated early Wednesday that the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party would boycott the meeting in protest at the attack on protesters in Abbasiya, but a senior party member, Essam El-Arian MP, said the party had not received an invitation to the meeting and had no information about it, according to a report in Al-Hayat newspaper Wednesday.

Wednesday's scheduled meeting between the SCAF and political parties is due to discuss the constituent assembly as well the Defence Ministry protest by supporters of Abu-Ismail.

It was rumoured that the SCAF wanted to discuss the possible postponement of presidential elections due to start on 23 May. A military source has denied to the rumour, according to the Al-Ahram Arabic website, adding that the SCAF would hand over power by the end of June 2012.

MP Mustafa Al-Naggar of the Adl Party told Ahram Online that he would not attend the meeting because, "There was nothing more to say about the constituent assembly and the other political developments in the country."  

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