The race begins for Egypt’s presidency
By Rizwan Khatik - Wed Mar 14, 7:36 am
From former Arab League secretary-general Amr Moussa to a previously unheard-of construction worker, dozens of Egyptian presidential hopefuls on 10 March began collecting supporters’ official endorsements in advance of launching their respective campaigns.
Egypt’s first post-Mubarak presidential poll is slated to be held on 23 and 24 May, with a runoff vote to be held in the event that no single candidate wins an outright majority. Final results will be announced by 21 June.
So far, eight frontrunners have been identified. Moussa has been projected by several independent polls as the most favoured candidate – at least so far.
There are also three candidates of Islamist backgrounds: Abdel-Moneim Aboul-Fotouh, a former member of the influential Muslim Brotherhood, who is running under a nationalist rather than an Islamist banner; Selim El-Awa, a lawyer and Islamist intellectual closely associated with the Muslim Brotherhood; and the Salafist Hazem Abou-Ismail.
Most surveys, including those conducted on a monthly basis by certain Western embassies in Cairo, put the latter of these ahead of the first two – despite steadily rising approval rates for Aboul-Fotouh, who has gained ground even among certain Christian quarters.
There is also Nasserist-oriented former MP Hamdin Sabahi; Ahmed Shafiq, an ex-military official who served as the last Mubarak-appointed prime minister; and Mansour Hassan, a Sadat-era information minister and current head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF)’s advisory council.