El-Shater Says Exclusion of Candidates a Crime Against Egypt

Disqualified Egyptian presidential hopeful Khairat el-Shater, the former second-in-command of the Muslim Brotherhood, said the exclusion of candidates from the May election was a crime against the country.

El-Shater told a press conference in Cairo today that the head of the election commission should be dismissed, and said there were indications the country’s ruling generals don’t “have a serious or genuine intention for a real power transfer.”

“This is not the real change that the revolution wants, and that the people have erupted for,” el-Shater said. “We are seeing a clear attempt to reproduce the old tyrannical regime, even if in a different form. This is the main danger.”

The Brotherhood has called for a rally on April 20 to defend the revolution, referring to the uprising that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak in February last year. The ruling military council has set a June 30 deadline to hand over power to an elected government.

Ten prospective candidates were excluded from the May 23 election, including el-Shater, Salafi cleric Hazem Abou Ismail and Mubarak’s longtime intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, who also served as vice president in the ousted ruler’s final days. The ban was confirmed by the election commission yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mariam Fam in Cairo at mfam1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Digby Lidstone at dlidstone@bloomberg.net

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