Suleiman exit could benefit Shafiq, Moussa: Poll

Ahram Online, Monday 16 Apr 2012

Latest presidential election poll shows disqualification of Mubarak's former spy chief and vice president Omar Suleiman could benefit Ahmed Shafiq and Amr Moussa

Omar Suleiman
Former spy chief and presidential candidate Omar Suleiman (Photo: Reuters)

A presidential election poll published Sunday has shown that the disqualification of Omar Suleiman, Mubarak's former vice president and intelligence chief, from the presidential race could benefit Amr Moussa and Ahmed Shafiq, both of whom also previously served in Mubarak's government.

The poll, carried out by the state-owned Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, showed that Shafiq, Mubarak's last prime minister, appointed during the January 25 Revolution, was the second choice of 40.4 percent of voters who had been planning to vote for Suleiman before he was disqualified from the race Saturday by the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) for allegedly failing to secure the required number of recommendations from the governorate of Assiut.

Amr Moussa, who served as foreign minister for ten years during Mubarak's reign, received the next highest approval percentage from Suleiman supporters, with 27.4 percent.

Suleiman announced on 6 April that he would run for president of Egypt after a rally by hundreds of supporters in Abbasiya, Cairo. His announcement angered many, especially Islamists, who staged a mass rally in Tahrir Square on Friday 13 April to reject his candidacy.

The SPEC on Saturday disqualified 10 presidential contenders, including Salafist poster boy Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail, Omar Suleiman and the Muslim Brotherhood's Khairat El-Shater.

The disqualified candidates have vowed to appeal the decision.

Egypt’s first post-Mubarak presidential election will take place on 23/24 May, with the winner declared on 21 June after a runoff voting round, if necessary, on 16/17 June.

The poll was carried out on 7-10 April from a sample of 1200 Egyptians from all governorates except those on the borders. The border regions heavily supported Salafist candidates during recent parliamentary elections.

Omar Suleiman topped the poll with 31.7 percent, second was Amr Moussa with 22.3 percent and third was Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail with 21.4 percent.

The second choice of Abu-Ismail supporters was the moderate Islamist candidate Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh with 29.9 percent, followed by Khairat El-Shater with 25.0 percent.

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