Egypt’s Salafi back in presidential race

Egypt’s Salafi back in presidential race

CAIRO
Egypt’s Salafi back in presidential race

Egyptian supporters of Salafi presidential candidate Hazem Abu Ismail take part in a demonstration outside the State Council Court in Cairo on April 11. AFP photo

An Egyptian court has ruled April 11 that that the mother of a popular ultraconservative Islamist viewed as one of the strongest contenders for president is not a U.S. citizen, likely clearing the way for him to run in May 23-24 elections, the Associated Press reported.

The decision was met with cheers of “God is great!” by thousands of Hazem Abu Ismail’s supporters who had camped outside the court house in Cairo, waiting for the decision. Abu Ismail, 50, is a lawyer-turned-preacher with a large following of supporters, particularly from the ultraconservative Salafi movement.
He has emerged as one of the frontrunners for the first presidential vote since the fall of Hosni Mubarak, but the electoral commission said it had received notification from American authorities that his late mother had a U.S. passport, a status that would likely disqualify him from the race. Abu Ismail filed the case handing over documents to show she held no dual nationality. The court ruled in his favor.

Egypt, Middle East, election