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Egypt presidential race heats up

Friday, April 06, 2012 - 01:40

Apr. 6 - The Muslim Brotherhood's presidential nomination stirs up the first election since the fall of Mubarak. Lily Grimes reports.

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Behind bars no longer. Egyptian millionaire businessman Khairat al-Shater - seen here detained during the Mubarak era - is now the presidential candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood, who dominate parliament, said they wouldn't field a candidate for the top job. Some say this u-turn is a major blunder, including the party's former deputy leader, Mohamed Habib. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) FORMER DEPUTY LEADER OF THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD, MOHAMED HABIB, SAYING: "First, the group has lost credibility in the public's eyes. Secondly, it has caused a very deep rift between the Muslim Brotherhood and all the other national and political powers, inside the whole national community." This could split the Muslim vote and threatens Salafist candidate Hafez Salah Abu Ismail's so far successful campaign. However Abu Ismail is also dogged by allegations that his mother held American citizenship, which would disqualify him. Liberal frontrunner Amr Moussa, former foreign minister and head of the Arab League, could benefit from a split among Islamist voters. The Egyptian army has pledged to hand power to a civilian government by July 1 but analysts expect it to wield influence from behind the scenes for years to come. Lily Grimes, Reuters

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Egypt presidential race heats up

Friday, April 06, 2012 - 01:40