Abu-Ismail supporters clash with anti-constituent assembly demonstrators in Tahrir

Ahram Online, Friday 6 Apr 2012

Abu-Ismail Salafist supporters threaten SCAF; clash with demonstrators opposed to the Islamist-dominated constituent assembly, storm podium and chant for Sharia

A TV photo of the protest in Tahrir Square, Friday, April 16, 2012. (Photo: Internet)

Supporters of Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail clash with opponents of the Islamist-dominated constituent assembly, which is set to draft a constitution for Egypt, in Tahrir Square on Friday.

The anti-assembly protesters were forced to stop chanting after Abu-Ismail supporters stormed their podium to call for the implementation of Islamic sharia and distributed posters of Abu-Ismail.

The Salafist directed threats at the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), vowing there would be consequences to any forging of the upcoming presidential elections, and raising the slogan, "Rigging elections equals cutting off your heads."

Thousands had descended on Tahrir Square on Friday to protest what they consider to be a fraudulent political and media campaign against the Salafist presidential candidate, Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail, which aims at excluding him from Egypt's first post-revolution presidential elections on the basis of the fact that his late mother held American as well as Egyptian citizenship.

They chanted: “Hazem is honest, he is not a liar”; “The people want Hazem Abu-Ismail”; and "Allegations or no allegations, we will win the cause."

Allegations that Abu-Ismail's late mother held US citizenship surfaced last week after he handed in his mandatory recommendations to the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) and became an official presidential candidate. The accusations, which have flooded social media networks in the last few days, threaten to end Abu-Ismail's presidential bid since Egyptian electoral rules exclude anyone either of whose parents holds dual nationality.

The allegations led the Salafist Front, one of Egypt's leading Salafist groups, to announce that it will rally in Tahrir Square in support of Abu-Ismail.

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