Backers of barred Egyptian candidate extend sit-in

April 23, 2012 18:22


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CAIRO - Hundreds of followers of ultra-orthodox Islamist preacher Hazem Salah Abu Ismail extended a sit-in at Cairo's Tahrir square on Monday to protest against an electoral commission that disqualified him from Egypt's presidential election.

Abu Ismail was ruled out because his mother held US citizenship, though he has fiercely denied this and accused the electoral commission of conspiring against him. Egyptian law does not allow presidential candidates or their parents to hold foreign nationalities.

A presidential election is due to take place on May 23-24. Main contenders include the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi, moderate Islamist Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh and former foreign minister Amr Moussa.

The protesters in Tahrir Square on Monday chanted "the people want the implementation of God's law." Some waved black flags saying "there is no God but Allah."

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