Egypt Live Blog
Egypt - Apr 24, 2012 - 21:34
Retuers offers a pretty interesting glimpse of what the Egypt's presidential race looks like now:
Shafiq's removal narrows the options for voters who do not want an Islamist head of state. The other front-runners are the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi and Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh, a former member of the group who said he was confident of victory.
The few opinion polls that are available have put former Arab League chief Moussa in the lead, suggesting he will make it into the run-off against one of the Islamists. However, many voters are undecided.
'Part of the votes that would have gone to Shafiq would go to Amr Moussa, because he is the only figure with government experience that remains in the race,' said Mustapha Kamel al-Sayyid, a professor of political science at Cairo University.
The first real race for Egypt's presidency had already taken one dramatic turn when earlier this month the authorities disqualified three other front-runners, including Mubarak's former vice-president, Omar Suleiman, and two top Islamists.
The army-led transition has been overshadowed by bursts of street violence and rising tensions between Islamists and secular-minded politicians at odds over the new constitution. ...
Okay, so the battle seems to be between Islamist and non-Islamist. But what will things look like if the guy who wins the race is an Islamist who does not have a cozy relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood? It could happen...
Abol Fotouh, a member of the Brotherhood for decades, moved back to the heart of the race when his rivals, including the group's first-choice candidate, were disqualified.
The Brotherhood expelled Abol Fotouh last year when he defied its wishes by deciding to run for president. On Tuesday, he said he expected to win outright by securing more than 50 per cent of the vote in the first round.
'God willing, we will take most of the Brotherhood's votes,' he said.
'We are working and organising on the basis that we will win from the first round and not in the run-off,' said the 60-year-old.
'As elections approach, our chances of winning are increasing.'