Egypt’s presidential candidates

A look at the leading candidates and disqualified runners after Egypt announces final list for May’s crucial vote.

egypt posters elections
Thirteen candidates were declared eligible, but several high-profile have been barred from running [Reuters]

After months of chaotic back and forth developments, Egypt’s election commission has released a final list of 13 candidates eligible to run in next month’s presidential elections.

At least two high-profile candidates have been barred, including the former vice president and spy chief under Hosni Mubarak and the preferred nominee of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Campaigning begins on April 30, with the vote scheduled to take place on May 23 and 24, with an expected runoff the following month.

The military has pledged to hand over power to the winner of the election by the end of June.

Below, we list the major candidates who can stand and some of the main people who have been disqualified.

Major candidates

Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh


A physician by profession, the 61-year old Aboul Fotouh has been a long-time Islamist activist and a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood. 

Abdul Fotouh served in the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau for over two decades and was a strong opponent of the governments of Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak.

He formally resigned from political work with the Brotherhood when he announced his candidacy in 2011, against the group’s decision at the time not to file a candidate.

Amr Moussa


A career diplomat, the 76-year-old Moussa served as Mubarak’s foreign minister from 1991 to 2001.

He was then chosen as the secretary general of the Arab League, a position he held until 2011.

While he was critical of Mubarak on many issues, including the nature of his relationship with Israel, in 2010 he said he would vote for Mubarak if he ran for a sixth term.

He publicly supported Egypt’s pro-democracy protesters during the 18-day uprising against Mubarak.

Moussa announced his candidacy two weeks after the fall of Mubarak.

Mohamaed Mursi


The 61-year old Mursi is the president of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justic Party (FJP).

An engineer by profession, he won a parliamentary seat in 2000, but was not re-elected in 2005.

He was announced as a back-up candidate to FJP’s first choice, Khairat el-Shater, who was subsequently disqualified.

Hamdeen Sabahi


A former two-term member of the parliament, the 58-year-old Sabahi is a “Nasserist” opposition figure, based on the principles of former president Jama Abdel Nasser’s 1952 revolution.

Sabahi was repeatedly arrested for his political activism. As a sitting MP in 2003, his immunity was lifted and he was sent to prison for organising protests against the US invasion of Iraq.

He was among the founders of the 2004 pro-democracy movement “Kefaya,” and publicly participated in the uprising against Mubarak. He has remained a vocal critic of the ruling military council.

Ahmed Shafiq


A long-time member of Mubarak’s cabinet, the 72-year old Shafiq served for 33 days as the former president’s final prime minister.

After a long career in the air force, Shafiq was appointed as minister of civil aviation in 2002, a position he held until 2011.

During his last attempts to quell protests, Mubarak promoted Shafiq to the post of prime minister.

Shafiq was running the government when protesters in Tahrir Square were attacked on February 2 last year by armed men riding on horses and camels.

He was disqualified by the election commission for his associtation with the former regime, but a last minute appeal saw the decision reversed.

Because of his long military career, many reportedly believe Shafiq is the military’s choice in the race.

Major disqualified candidates

Omar Suleiman


The 73-year old Suleiman served as Mubarak’s vice president during his final days in power.

A former military officer, Suleiman served as Mubarak’s intelligence chief from 1993 to 2011.

He was disqualified by the election commission for not having the required number of voter endorsements.

The Muslim Brotherhood-dominated parliament also passed a law forbidding former Mubarak officials from running, which made it difficult for Suleiman

Khairat el-Shater


The Muslim Brotherhood’s official candidate, and its deputy leader, the multi-millionaire Shater was disqualified for his past criminal convictions. 

Shater received a seven year jail sentence for money laundering and terrorism under Mubarak in 2006, and was in prison during the revolution last year.

He sought the expulsion of Bortherhood members who pursued more liberal Islamist policies such as Aboul Fotouh.

Hazem Abu Ismail


A prominent Salafi preacher, Abu Ismail was disqualified because his late mother was a US citizen.

He ran for parliament twice, in 1995 and 2005, failing to win a seat both times. He then became politically inactive and continued preaching at a Cairo mosque.

Abu Ismail publicly supported the uprising against Mubarak and criticised the military.

He has denied that his mother had US citizenship, saying it is a conspiracy against him.

But the election commission displayed copies of his mother’s application for a US passport, stamped with the information that it had been granted.

Ayman Nour


Nour, the founder of the liberal Ghad al-Thawra party, ran for president in 2005, Egypt’s first multi-candidate election.

Shortly after the elections, he was imprisoned for forging documents needed to license his party. He was released in 2009 for health reasons.

The complications around a pardon he received from the military council have been given as the reason for his disqualification.

Source: Ahram, Al Arabiya, Al Jazeera, News Agencies