Abu Ismail supporters continue sit-in for fourth day

News article, posted 04.23.2012, from Egypt, in:
Abu Ismail supporters continue sit-in for fourth day (Photo: Al-Masry Al-Youm)

Supporters of Hazem Abu Ismail continued their sit-in in Tahrir Square for the fourth day in a row to protest Abu Ismail's exclusion from the presidential race.

They held several marches expressing their demands, which included the dissolution of the Presidential Election Commission, the abolition of Article 28 of the Constitutional Declaration that says the decisions of the commission are final and cannot be challenged, and the release of political prisoners, reported the state-owned wire service MENA.

Abu Ismail’s supporters flocked the square on Thursday to protest a decision by the commission that excluded him on the grounds that his mother held foreign nationality. Under Egypt's election rules, both of  a candidate's parents must be Egyptian and hold no other citizenship.

Abu Ismail, an ultra-conservative who preaches a strict interpretation of Islam, had emerged as one of the front-runners in the first presidential vote since the fall of Hosni Mubarak.

The populist sheikh's followers accuse Western countries and Egypt's ruling generals of trying to eliminate him from next month's ballot, worried by his push to impose Sharia. They held a mass protest last Friday.


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