Skip to main content

Ban on Egyptian presidential candidates upheld

By Paul Armstrong, CNN
April 20, 2012 -- Updated 1107 GMT (1907 HKT)
  • Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission endorses decision to exclude 10 candidates
  • Among them el-Shater, a Muslim Brotherhood leader, and ex-intelligence chief Suleiman
  • The commission says the candidates were disqualified for legal reasons
  • The presidential election in Egypt is scheduled for May 23 and 24

(CNN) -- Ten candidates, including the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and a former spy chief, have lost their appeal against disqualification from upcoming presidential elections in Egypt, according to official news agency egynews.

The Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) said Tuesday it endorsed a previous decision to exclude 10 of 23 candidates from the contest scheduled for May 23 and 24 due to "legal irregularities."

Omar Suleiman, the most controversial candidate, was disqualified because "he did not collect the 30,000 endorsements from 15 different directorates in Egypt but obtained them from several cities only, which is not legal," the head of Egypt's executive election committee, Hatem Bagato, said on Saturday.

Egyptian presidential candidates disqualified

The candidates lodged appeals against the decision on Sunday.

Egypt's presidential election in turmoil
Egyptian candidates barred from election
Muslim Brotherhood protests candidate

Suleiman was head of Egypt's intelligence services and served as vice president under President Hosni Mubarak before his ouster. Last week, the Muslim Brotherhood called for a "million-man" protest in Cairo's Tahrir Square against the nomination of former members of Mubarak's regime.

Vote to bar Mubarak officials' presidential bids

Khairat el-Shater, the Brotherhood's preferred candidate, and Ayman Nour, the head of the Al Ghad party, also had their bans upheld due to issues surrounding unresolved pardons for time spent in prison under the Mubarak regime, the election committee said.

The other disqualified candidates included Hazem Abu Ismael, Mamdouh Outb, Ashraf Barouma, Hossam Khairat, Ibrahim Ghareeb, Ahmed Awad and Mortada Mansour, Bagato told CNN.

El-Shater -- a multi-millionaire businessman -- was jailed for five years by a military court during a crackdown on Islamist movements in the mid-1990s. In 2007, he was charged with providing funds and weapons to college students and imprisoned again.

He was still behind bars when the regime fell in February 2011, and the military junta that took power from Mubarak released him for medical reasons a month later. A subsequent pardon was challenged in court by the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

He responded to Tuesday's decision by called on Egyptians to "protect the revolution," warning that plans for electoral fraud and vote-buying were under way, egynews reported.

Also Tuesday, the Muslim Brotherhood announced it was submitting another candidate, Mohammed Mursi, should el-Shater's appeal ban stand, said.

Hamdi Alkhshali contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
April 12, 2012 -- Updated 0052 GMT (0852 HKT)
Egypt's administrative court has suspended the country's 100-member constitutional assembly. What does that say about the country's progress toward political reform?
April 11, 2012 -- Updated 1727 GMT (0127 HKT)
On February 1, riots at a football match in Port Said plunged Egypt into mourning and despair -- the future of one of African soccer's traditional powerhouses seemed bleak.
February 2, 2012 -- Updated 1046 GMT (1846 HKT)
Political tensions flare after more than 70 people die and hundreds are injured when fans riot at a soccer match in the Egyptian city of Port Said.
February 4, 2012 -- Updated 1511 GMT (2311 HKT)
Fans storm on to the pitch during riots that erupted after the football match between Al-Masry and Al-Ahly.
The scenes in Port Said will leave an indelible mark on post-revolution Egypt because soccer matters more here than anywhere, argues James Montague.
An Egyptian photographer found himself in the middle of the Arab Spring. Months after the demonstrations died down, he returned to document what had changed.
January 25, 2012 -- Updated 1948 GMT (0348 HKT)
The protests in Egypt that toppled Hosni Mubarak began one year ago today. But some are asking now: What's the difference?
January 25, 2012 -- Updated 1945 GMT (0345 HKT)
An Egyptian girl shouts slogans against the military in Cairo's Tahrir Square on December 23, 2011 as people gathered for a mass rally against the ruling military, which sparked outrage when its soldiers were taped beating women protesters.
It's been a year since the mass protests started in Egypt but one author says the seeds of revolution were sown years ago.
January 25, 2012 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
Many Egyptians wonder if the revolution amounted to nothing more than a military coup, writes Aladdin Elaasar, a former professor and author.
January 22, 2012 -- Updated 1214 GMT (2014 HKT)
Egypt's first democratically elected parliament is to meet Monday - but that is not the end of the country's revolution.
January 23, 2012 -- Updated 2130 GMT (0530 HKT)
A look at some of the moments from the first 18 days of upheaval in Egypt that culminated in political change.