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Friday April 13, 2012

Egypt’s Birther Crisis

Posted by Omar Baddar at 4:45 pm

Egypt’s presidential race has seen a lot of interesting developments in recent days. About a week ago, our own Jeff Wright shared the news that the Muslim Brotherhood was running a candidate for President (contradicting earlier statements that they wouldn’t), who happens to be their deputy Supreme Guide Khairat el-Shater. Shortly after, Omar Suleiman (briefly Mubarak’s Vice President) also announced he was running, triggering renewed protests in Tahrir Square and a parliamentary resolution seeking to bar him from being admitted into the race.

Now there is the controversy surrounding Salafi candidate and front runner Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, whose antagonism towards the United States is undermined by the fact that his mother is an American citizen (a technical disqualifier in Egyptian elections). In effect, Egypt is having its own variation of a “birther” controversy. A court in Egypt dismissed attempts to disqualify him because of lack of Egyptian documentation to substantiate that his mother is indeed an American, but the national election commission has yet to decide whether American documents will suffice to disqualify him. If he were disqualified, the MB’s Khairat el-Shater will be the most likely beneficiary.

We’re not sure how this will turn out, but in the meantime, you should enjoy this Daily Show clip satirizing the controversy:

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Road to Whatever House the President of Egypt Lives In
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