Shater, Abu Ismail, Suleiman out? Thank God.
It looks like the political drama will soon end, according to this Reuters scoop:
(Reuters) - Ten candidates for the Egyptian presidency including Hosni Mubarak's spy chief, a Muslim Brotherhood leader and a Salafi preacher lost appeals against disqualification from the race, two sources on the committee overseeing the vote told Reuters."All appeals have been rejected because nothing new was offered in the appeal requests," a member of the judicial committee told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Another source confirmed that all the appeals had been rejected.
I'll wait for the official confirmation, because in this insane political environment you never know, but I am very reassurred that this is the outcome. (I'll leave the wondering about whether the commission came to this conclusion by itself, through SCAF pressure, or as part of an elaborate multi-party deal to others). As I wrote in the National a few days ago:
The destabilising prospect of these three candidates, who are thought by many to have the best chance of winning the election, is why the presidential electoral commission's recent decision to exclude them on eligibility grounds (because Mr Suleiman has insufficient qualifying endorsements, Mr Al Shater is a former convict, and Mr Abu Ismail's American mother) may turn out to be a blessing, no matter how unfair.The fact is that among ordinary Egyptians and the country's fragmented elite, the victory of any one of them would be difficult to stomach. There are those who reject the Brothers' societal project just as there are those who could not stomach the restoration that a Suleiman victory would symbolise, while the populist antics of Mr Abu Ismail are the stuff of nightmares for both those camps.
My initial reaction is that this leaves Moussa and Aboul Fotouh in the best positions. And that's something that, either way, most Egyptians can probably live with.