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A dozen candidates vie for Egyptian presidency

23 may 2012, 16:36
Egyptian soldiers carry cardboard boxes containing voting ballots in the capital Cairo. ©AFP
Egyptian soldiers carry cardboard boxes containing voting ballots in the capital Cairo. ©AFP
Egyptians go to the polls on Wednesday and Thursday for the first presidential vote since the 2011 uprising that overthrew former president Hosni Mubarak, AFP reports.

There are 13 candidates on the ballot, but one has dropped out and endorsed a former rival. Here are some facts about the dozen hopefuls who remain:

Amr Mussa: Egypt's former foreign minister and ex-head of the Arab League, Mussa is seen as an experienced politician and diplomat by supporters, but detractors say he is a Mubarak regime holdover.

Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh: A former senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, the moderate Abul Fotouh portrays himself as a consensus choice, touting the range of his support, but some suspect he is more conservative than he admits.

Ahmed Shafiq: The last prime minister to serve under Mubarak, Shafiq is campaigning on a stability and law-and-order platform that emphasises his military background. He is strongly rejected by the youth who spearheaded the uprising.

Mohammed Mursi: The second choice candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, after their first choice was disqualified, Mursi's platform touts the party's "Renaissance" project, which calls for Egypt's development along Islamic principles.

Hamdeen Sabbahi: A former member of parliament and long-time activist, Sabbahi is a staunch proponent of the leftist, pan-Arabist policies of former Egyptian president Gamal Abdul Nasser and emphasises his humble beginnings.

Khaled Ali: The youngest of the candidates, Ali is a labour lawyer and respected activist who is seen by many as the true "revolutionary" candidate, but he has limited name recognition and many consider him too young to lead.

Selim al-Awwa: An Islamist thinker with a background of work on Muslim-Christian dialogue, Awwa is running as an independent, and presents himself as a Muslim moderate who is able to bridge religious divides.

Hisham al-Bastawisi: The official candidate of the leftwing Tagammu party, Bastawisi is a jurist who became famous for challenging the results of elections held in 2005. He has been endorsed by the April 6 revolutionary group and touts his independent credentials.

Abul Ezz al-Hariri: Candidate of the Socialist Popular Alliance party, Hariri is a long-time advocate of social justice and redistribution of wealth, who first become a member of parliament in the 1970s.

Hossam Khairallah: Representing the Democratic Peace party, Khairallah is considered a law-and-order candidate and emphasises his military background and security heritage.

Mahmud Hossam: A long-time member of Egypt's despised State Security which was restructured after Mubarak's overthrow, Hossam also worked with the UN Middle East Human Rights Department. His platform calls for purging the police and restoring stability.

Abdullah al-Ashaal: A legal scholar and diplomat, Ashaal is the candidate of the Islamist Al-Asala Party. His platform includes the "Project for Egyptian National Revival" and emphasises job creation and agricultural reform.

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