Egypt’s Islamists rally against presidential candidates from former regime

Egypt’s Islamists rally against presidential candidates from former regime
# 13 April 2012 20:29 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Tens of thousands of Egyptians flooded to Cairo’s center Tahrir square Friday for a rally to protest presidential candidates who served in former president Hosni Mubarak’s regime, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

The rally was stirred up by Islamists, namely the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists, after former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman announced candidacy last week.

"Candidacy of former regime remnants means the revolution is useless, as the same corruption of the former era will be there," Salafist protestor Abdallah Sedky told Xinhua.

Two stages were set up in the square, one by members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the other by supporters of Salafist candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail.

"When the corruption prevails, it’s time to fight," protestors supporting the Salafist candidate shouted in the demonstrations.

Egypt’s parliament passed a bill on Thursday to impose a 10- year political isolation on senior officials of the former regime in an apparent attempt to ban some liberal candidates from running in the presidential race.

"We are here to urge and force the constitutional court and military council to approve the disfranchisement law suggested by the parliament," Haiam al-Kady, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood ’s Freedom and Justice Party told Xinhua.

"Step down to the military rule," read placards hung by the protestors in the rally.

Islamist Wasat Party and Revolution Board of Trustees joined the rally, while other liberal political forces like the Union of Revolution’s Youth pledged a "million rally" next Friday in protest of the former regime’s presidential candidates.

"We are here to say no for those who think they can seize the revolution," Secretary General of the Revolution Board of Trustees Safwat Hegazy told Xinhua.

"The parliament passed the disfranchisement bill, and we know the military council won’t approve it because it supports Omar Suleiman," Hegazy added.

Political tensions are prevailing in Egypt as the country is set to hold on May 23 and May 24 the first presidential elections after Mubarak’s fall.

A total of 23 candidates submitted their applications for the presidential race, including former deputy chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood Khairat al-Shater, Salafist Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, Freedom and Justice Party chairman Mohamed Morsi, former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik and former Arab League chief Amr Moussa.

The election commission will announce the final list of presidential candidates on April 26.