Over US mother, Islamist likely out of Egypt race

Published April 5, 2012 5:45PM (EDT)

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's presidential election commission has confirmed that the mother of a popular Islamist presidential hopeful was an American citizen, effectively disqualifying him from the race.

The announcement Thursday follows days of speculation about the candidacy of Hazem Abu Ismail, a 50-year-old ultraconservative lawyer turned preacher.

Under Egyptian law, candidates, their spouses and parents must hold only Egyptian nationality.

Abu Ismail was highly popular among Egypt's religious conservative youth and was seen as a serious competition to front-runner candidate Khairat el-Shater, the strongman of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. His disqualification opens the road for el-Shater, and is likely to anger Abu Ismail's supporters.

By Salon Staff

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