Cairo: Thousands rally against Mubarak-era presidential candidate


Waving the national flag, thousands of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist movement supporters take part in a demonstration in the capital's landmark Tahrir Square in Cairo on April 13, 2012 under the slogan 'protect the revolution,' demanding that former regime members be barred from public office.


Khaled Desouki

Tahrir Square today swelled with thousands of protesters demanding that ex-regime figures be banned from running in Egypt's upcoming presidential election, the Associated Press reported.

The rally in Tahrir Square, the center of opposition activity during historic protests that saw the overthrow of longtime Egyptian ruler Hosni Mubarak a year ago, was organized by leading figures tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafis and other Islamic groups dominating parliament, said AP

Led by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, Egypt's young parliament on Thursday passed legislation banning Mubarak-era figures from running for office for the next 10 years, reported AP

The new law must be approved by the country's transitional military authorities before going into effect, however -- hence today's "Protect the Revolution" protest meant to pressure the authorities on the issue, according to the BBC.

The event reveals a growing standoff between parliament and the ruling military.

More from GlobalPost: Reforming Egypt's military from within

Protesters shouted slogans against the newly-announced candidacy of Mubarak's former sky chief Omar Suleiman, which came shortly after the Muslim Brotherhood fielded its own candidate on March 31, said AP

"No to leftovers from the old regime!" shouted demonstrators in Cairo today, Agence-France Press reported.

Suleiman, a close confidant of Mubarak, also served as vice president during Egypt's 18-day uprising. 

Meanwhile, an equally-fresh decision by the Brotherhood's Khairat al-Shater to enter the presidential field marks a turnaround for the group, which earlier promised it would not put forward a candidate in the country's May 23-24 elections, said AP

The Muslim Brotherhood accuses the ruling military of stymying efforts to form a new government in Egypt, while al-Shater has called Suleiman's intention to run an "insult to the revolution," according to the BBC

Suleiman, for his part, says he is running to ensure the Islamists don't gain a monopoly on power. 

The law proposed by parliament would also disqualify candidates Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak's former premier, and Amr Mussa, the ex-Arab League chief and former foreign minister, said AFP