El-Shater's presidential ban 'scandalous political plan', says Brotherhood

Ahram Online, Wednesday 18 Apr 2012

Head of Brotherhood legal committee slams Electoral Commission decision to bar their presidential contender Khairat El-Shater, saying they have papers proving his eligibility

Khairat al-Shater
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) presidential candidate Khairat al-Shater (Photo: REuters)

 The head of the legal committee for the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) declared Tuesday on their official webpage ikhwanonline.com, that the legal status of their presidential hopeful Khairat El-Shater was sound and described his elimination from the presidential race as a "scandalous political plan."

Mokhtar El-Ashry, the head of the committee, added that banning El-Shater from running for the country's top post is reminiscent of the injustice that was often seen during the former regime.

El-Shater, second in command of the Muslim Brotherhood and their main financer was excluded along with nine other candidates including Salafist poster-boy Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail and ex-intelligence chief Omar Suleiman.

The trio's appeal was rejected on Saturday by the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC). El-Shater was mainly disregarded because of his past criminal record as he was repeatedly imprisoned during the Mubarak-era due to his membership in the Brotherhood.

El-Ashry added that the legal team responsible for El-Shater's case filed all the necessary papers to insure that he is eligible.

He stated that El-Shater's elimination along with Abu-Ismail and fellow presidential hopeful Ayman Nour was part of an insidious plan. He added that the fact that ex-intelligence chief Omar Suleiman was also disregarded was only a manoeuvre to lighten the blow for the Egyptian people.

The decision to ban the group was announced on Tuesday evening.

El-Shater is expected to hold an international press conference to respond to the decision. The Brotherhood had fielded FJP President Mohamed Morsi as a substitute in case El-Shater's appeals failed.

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