Egyptian Police arrest Brotherhood’s first candidate for President before Mursi

The Egyptian police are showing no signs of easing up. The man widely expected to be the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate for president last year along with the would-be Salafist champion of last year’s election, were both arrested recently.

Via Al Arabiya:

Egyptian police arrested on Friday the deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood, Khairat al-Shater, and the hardline Salafi presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail.

An interior ministry spokesman said al-Shater, widely seen as the most influential Islamist politician behind deposed President Mohammed Mursi, was arrested from an apartment in eastern Cairo.

“Khairat al-Shater and his brother have been arrested at the request of the prosecution,” said the general on condition of anonymity. “They went quietly.”

Meanwhile, Egyptian security forces arrested another Islamist leader, Abu Ismail, and immediately took him to prison, according to reports that emerged on Friday.

Last year, we wrote the following about Egypt’s presidential race in general, the two aforementioned candidates in particular:

Khairat Al-Shater: disqualified since he is a law-breaker. The law in Egypt is that any candidate must wait six years after a pardon or completed sentence before eligibility can be granted. You see, al-Shater has received multiple prison sentences (five different times), which tends to cause problems for presidential candidates – even in Egypt. In the two cases that are causing him eligibility woes, al-Shater was accused of money laundering and funding a then-illegal group – the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Ahram explains that al-Shater was pardoned shortly after the fall of Mubarak. According to Fana News, a legal debate about al-Shater’s eligibility is centered around a law that says the Muslim Brotherhood candidate cannot run for at least six years after either being pardoned or serving such a prison sentence.

Hazem Salah Abu Ismail: the Salafist who appears to have an eligibility issue of his own. According to Al-Ahram, Egypt’s Interior Minister has ruled that Ismail does not qualify for the presidency because his mother held American citizenship. The smoking gun appears to have come in the form of passport number 500611598. Ironically, Ismail is the most fanatic candidate and his mother’s U.S. citizenship has disqualified him.

It looks like Al-Shater has added a sixth arrest to his record.

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