Egypt Live Blog
Egypt - Apr 29, 2012 - 20:00
Current Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Mursi's campaign posters above [Reuters]
The Muslim Brotherhood's bid to win the Egyptian presidency suffered a major blow when hardline Islamists endorsed its candidate's main rival in a race that heats up on Monday with the start of official campaigning.
The historic free election to decide who replaces fallen autocrat Hosni Mubarak is shaping up as a ballot box struggle between Islamists who were oppressed by the deposed president, politicians who at some point were part of his government and liberals and leftists seen to have little chance of winning.
The al-Nour Party of the Salafist movement, which espouses a puritanical version of Islam, on Saturday endorsed Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh, a former Brotherhood member ejected from the mainstream Islamic movement last year, for the presidency.
That should bring to Abol Fotouh many of the votes that propelled the Salafis into second place behind the Brotherhood in Egypt's parliamentary elections.
Of course, the al-Nour party had indicated that it would not be supporting any Muslim Brotherhhood candidate, and on Wednesday - as we reported - hinted that Abol Fotouh will be its man.