|The three stooges- al-Shater, Suleiman and Abu Ismail|
Khairat al-Shater, the Muslim Brotherhood presidential wannabee, who claimed he would impose Shariah (Islamic) law on Egypt if elected, isn't going to have that opportunity. Neither is Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, the Salafist preacher who said he would also force women to wear the hijab (Islamic veil) or change creed. Those two, along with 8 other hopefuls, have been barred from running in the upcoming Egyptian presidential election this coming May. The 10, including Omar Suleiman (Mubarak's former spy chief), were given 48 hours to appeal, but lost.
Abu Ismail was ruled out because his mother held U.S. citizenship, the commission said, though he has fiercely denied this and has accused the authorities of conspiring against him. His blend of hardline Islam and revolutionary zeal has won him an enthusiastic following.
Suleiman, one of Hosni Mubarak's closest aides and his deputy in his last days in power, had been ruled out because he had too few of the voter endorsements candidates are required to present, according to the state news agency.
Shater had been disqualified because of a past criminal conviction. Like many other Brotherhood leaders, Shater had spent time behind bars for his association with a group that was officially outlawed under the Mubarak administration.
The committee also upheld its disqualification of Ayman Nour, a liberal who came a distant second to Mubarak in the 2005 presidential election.
Nobel Laureate and reform leader Mohamed ElBaradei pulled out in January, and the only female candidate, Bothaina Kamel, dropped out after failing to get enough signatures, though she has no regrets.
The Egyptians will have 23 candidates to choose from come May 23 and 24, and it's anticipated there will be a probable run-off in June. Let's hope they choose the right leader. At least the most problematic Islamist candidates have been eliminated, although I'm sure this isn't the end of them.
On July 1, the Egyptian people will finally be under civilian rule.