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Egypt Calls for Presidential Candidates for Unknown Election Date
February 19, 2012

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Egypt's government will begin accepting nominations for the president on March 10, the Supreme Constitutional Court said. The announcement of the new president is to be made by the end of June, but a date for the election itself has not been forthcoming.

The ruling military council has agree to hand over power to the newly elected Parliament and president. Election for both houses of Parliament have produced a sizable presence for the Muslim Brotherhood, long outlawed under the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak.

The presidential election could be notable for who will not be running. In January, Mohamed El-Baradei, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, announced that he would not seek the presidency, alleging that the ruling generals would not allow an independent candidate to be elected. The last four presidents have come from a military background.

Two likely candidates are Amr Moussa, a former foreign minister under Mubarak and a former chief of the Arab League, and former air force pilot Ahmed Shafiq, who was Mubarak's prime minister last year.

The Muslim Brotherhood has said repeatedly that it will not submit a candidate for president. Longtime member Abdel-Moneim Aboul-Fotouh, who is popular with many people who supported the revolution, has announced his intention to run, which resulted in his expulsion from the Brotherhood.

Another high-profile candidate is likely to be Hazem Abu Ismail, who has a large following in the ranks of the Salafis, an ultraconservative group who got the second-most number of seats in Parliament in the recent elections.

Requirements for the post include a minimum age of 40, a minimum of 30,000 signatures in support of a nomination or the demonstrated support of 30 lawmakers, and an absence of foreign influence, either in citizenship or in marriage. A majority of voters approved the requirements in a national referendum last year, and the ruling military council has issued a military decree cementing the requirements into law.

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