Egyptian Panel Clears Nine Candidates to Run Against Mubarak

(New York Times) Michael Slackman - Egypt's presidential commission announced Thursday that nine candidates would have the chance to challenge President Hosni Mubarak in the nation's first multicandidate race for the office in September, including Ayman Nour of the Tomorrow Party and Noman Gomaa of the Wafd Party. The Muslim Brotherhood, the most organized of the nation's opposition groups, is negotiating with the two candidates about a possible endorsement. The commission disqualified 19 other candidates. The government controls all of the major media outlets in Egypt, and some political analysts say it is already using those outlets to promote Mubarak's re-election. "Frankly, I think it is a farce," said Dr. Mostafa Kamel al-Sayed, a political science professor at American University in Cairo. "One has only to look at national papers, which have become electoral campaigns for the National Democratic Party." Dr. Mohammed al-Sayed Said, deputy director of the government-financed Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said the elections themselves were, at best, a small step forward, but also were part of a trend of political awakening that seemed to be spreading across Egypt.

2005-08-12 00:00:00

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