Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Thousands Rally in Egypt After Presidential Candidates Banned

The Muslim Brotherhood, whose political party controls the largest bloc in parliament, called for rallies to “defend the revolution” in an April 18 statement in which it criticized a decision to disqualify its main nominee, Khairat el-Shater, from the presidential race. Photographer: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images
The Muslim Brotherhood, whose political party controls the largest bloc in parliament, called for rallies to “defend the revolution” in an April 18 statement in which it criticized a decision to disqualify its main nominee, Khairat el-Shater, from the presidential race. Photographer: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

April 20 (Bloomberg) -- Thousands of Egyptians poured into Cairo’s Tahrir Square amid increasing political tensions ahead of May presidential elections, the first since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.

The Muslim Brotherhood, whose political party controls the largest bloc in parliament, called for rallies to “defend the revolution” in an April 18 statement in which it criticized a decision to disqualify its main nominee, Khairat el-Shater, from the presidential race. Other groups and parties including the April 6 movement called for separate protests under the slogan “No constitution under military rule.”

“Say it, don’t be afraid, SCAF must leave,” some of the protesters chanted, referring to the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

The barring of presidential candidates, confirmed by the election commission this week, has added to the turmoil surrounding Egypt’s transition. Islamists, secular politicians and the army council have clashed over the process of drawing up a new constitution and returning to civilian rule.

Ten prospective nominees were excluded from the contest due to begin on May 23. They include el-Shater, the more conservative Salafi cleric Hazem Abu Ismail and Mubarak’s longtime intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman.

After his expulsion from the race, el-Shater told reporters on April 18 that developments indicated the generals had no real intention to fully relinquish power. The military council says it will hand over to civilians by the end of June.

The Brotherhood accuses the interim government installed by the military of failing to restore security or help the economy recover, and has criticized the generals for refusing to fire it. The Islamist group has fielded a backup candidate, Mohamed Morsi, who heads its Freedom and Justice Party, to contest the presidential race.

Politicians will meet with Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the army council, on April 22 to discuss the composition of the committee charged with drafting a new constitution. An administrative court ruling this month effectively suspended the 100-member panel, amid accusations it was dominated by Islamists with other groups under-represented.

To contact the reporters on this story: Mariam Fam in Cairo at mfam1@bloomberg.net; Fiona MacDonald in Kuwait at fmacdonald4@bloomberg.net.

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

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.