Egypt’s Prosecutor probes 3 Presidential Candidates over Violating Campaigning Rules

Egypt’s Supreme Commission for Presidential Elections referred three presidential hopefuls to the public prosecutor for violating the campaigning rules, as thousands of marchers flocked to the central Cairo neighborhood of Abbasiya, where they performed the Dawn prayers in solidarity with the protesters who were attacked a day earlier. 

Former Muslim Brotherhood member Abdel Monem Abou Al Fotouh, his rival Mohammed Morsi – the Brotherhood candidate – and former Arab League chief Amr Moussa are being probed over actions violating the rule of the presidential campaigns.

The commission said that the three candidates have organized campaigning conferences in the Assiut branch of al-Azhar University and the universities of Assiut and Mansura.

Meanwhile, the former Islamist candidates, Khairat al-Shater and Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, who were barred from the presidential race, were also referred to the public prosecutor, Al Arabiya reported citing the Commission. 

Shater, a Muslim Brotherhood member, will be probed over insulting the Commission; while the Salafi Abu Ismail will be probed over forgery, as he had signed documents stating that his parents did not carry dual citizenship while his late mother carried the U.S. citizenship.

Meanwhile, thousands of Egyptian protesters marched Wednesday evening from Cairo’s Ramses neighborhood to an ongoing sit-in outside Defense Ministry headquarters in the nearby Abbasiya neighborhood in hopes of stopping the violence that has left at least 20 dead within the last 24 hours. 

“Hussein Tantawi [head of Egypt’s SCAF] is Mubarak!” protestors shouted. “Shame on the military, which kills revolutionaries!” 

Protesters set out from the Fath Mosque in Ramses and marched to Abbasiya in east Cairo to show solidarity with the hundreds of protesters and sit-in participants who were attacked on Wednesday by unknown assailants. 

Presidential contenders Abou Al Fotouh and Khaled Ali were seen on the march, along with several members of candidate Hamdeen Sabahi’s electoral campaign, al-Ahram reported.

Political activists, members of the political movements and ordinary citizens were among the people participating in the march.

Four presidential hopefuls have temporarily suspended their campaigns to protest the renewed violence against political demonstrators.

Ongoing clashes between protesters and unknown assailants appeared to have come to a halt Wednesday afternoon following three days of on-again, off-again fighting.

The march was getting positive reactions from people in the street and the number of people joining the march was increasing, the daily Egypt Independent reported, adding that Abbasiya residents were cheering for the marchers from their balconies.

Troops and police deployed in the area around the Defense Ministry had not intervened in earlier attacks there and at first did nothing to stop the killings Wednesday, leaving the clashes to continue until noon when they moved in, al-Masry al-Youm reported.

But later in the afternoon, the armed forces withdrew from the Abbasiya, leaving behind Central Security Forces and a huge security cordon around the bus stop, the daily said.

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