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Amre Moussa Leading Egyptian Presidential Candidates, Poll Shows

April 9 (Bloomberg) -- Former Arab League Secretary-General Amre Moussa is leading in Egypt’s presidential race, with the Muslim Brotherhood’s main nominee trailing in eighth place, according to a poll published by the state-run Al Ahram newspaper.

Moussa, a former foreign minister under ousted President Hosni Mubarak, had the support of 30.7 percent of those polled while the Brotherhood’s Khairat el-Shater took only 1.7 percent, according to the survey. In second place was Salafi candidate Hazem Abu Ismail, who may be disqualified after election officials said his mother held U.S. citizenship. The law stipulates that neither a candidate nor either of his parents may hold a foreign nationality.

Candidate registration for Egypt’s first presidential elections since Mubarak’s overthrow ended yesterday. The late entrance of Mubarak’s vice president, Omar Suleiman, and the Brotherhood’s decision to contest the race, reversing an earlier position, have raised tensions ahead of the vote.

The survey, funded by the state-run Al Ahram establishment, was based on interviews between March 31 and April 3 with 1,200 people nationwide except in border provinces, Al Ahram said. About 8 percent of the interviews were conducted before the Brotherhood officially announced that it was fielding el-Shater, the newspaper reported. The margin of error was 4 percent, it said.

Abdel Moneim Aboul-Fotouh, a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, came in third with 8.5 percent while Suleiman was fourth with 8.2 percent.

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

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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