All you need to know about Egypt's presidential candidates

News article, posted 04.21.2012, from Egypt, in:
All you need to know about Egypt's presidential candidates (Photo: Reuters)

1. Amr Moussa

Moussa, a career diplomat and politician, is one of the front-runners in the presidential race.

Born in 1936 in Cairo, he earned a degree in law from Cairo University in 1957, and began his diplomatic career shortly following his graduation.

Moussa held the volatile position of minister of foreign affairs from 1991 to 2001. He was then removed from his post by former president Mubarak and made the secretary-general of the Arab League, a position he held until 2011.

2. Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh

Abul-Fotouh is a prominent Islamist activist and a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

He was born in 1951 in Cairo. Abul-Fotouh graduated from medical school at Cairo University in 1976, where he was one of the most prominent leaders of the 1970s student movement.

He served in the guidance office of the Brotherhood, the highest executive body of the group, from 1987 to 2009. He was also jailed three times during his years as a Brotherhood member.

He was dismissed from the Brotherhood after the January 25 revolution, when he announced his decision to run for president despite the group’s decision not to field a candidate in the first post-Mubarak presidential elections.

The Brotherhood has since changed its stance and decided to field a presidential candidate, but not Abul-Fotouh.

3. Mohamed Selim El-Awa

El-Awa is an Islamic thinker, writer and prominent commercial litigator.

He was born in Alexandria in 1942 and obtained a doctorate in philosophy from London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in 1972, for a comparative study of systems of punishment in Islamic and English legal systems. He also holds diplomas in public and Islamic law.

El-Awa has published numerous books, as well as papers and newspaper articles.

His father was among the disciples of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan El-Banna. He was arrested in 1965 by former president Gamal Abdel-Nasser during a clampdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, and charged with being a member of a banned group.

During the Mubarak era, he also defended a number of Brotherhood members imprisoned by the Mubarak regime. He was a staunch critic of Mubarak’s plan to hand over power to his son Gamal.


[Excerpt—See accompanying URL for a complete list of all 23 candidates profiled]