CAIRO - A lawyer for Egyptian presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail attacked a decision by the body overseeing the election to disqualify the ultra-conservative Salafi and others from the race on Saturday, saying he expected a "major crisis".

"The man heading this committee has never been independent. This elimination was dictated to him and he is working under the guidance of the military council," Nizar Ghorab told Reuters, referring to the head of Egypt's election commission.

"I expect a major crisis to happen in the next few hours," he said.

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