Shater slams Egyptian army

2012-04-19 09:58

Cairo - Muslim Brotherhood's Khairat el-Shater, who has been barred from Egypt's first post-Arab Spring presidential election, on Wednesday accused the country's military rulers of seeking to stay in power.

"The way the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) runs Egypt... shows manipulation in the democratisation process and a desire to prevent people from democratically electing their president," Shater told journalists.

He accused Egypt's military rulers of seeking "to extend the transitional period," which is scheduled to end in June after a president is elected.

"The SCAF wants to pull the strings of power from behind the scenes," said Shater, a wealthy businessman and influential member of Egypt's powerful Brotherhood.

Shater said the Islamists would join a demonstration on Friday organised by the same movements that ousted veteran president Hosni Mubarak.

He urged support for another Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohammed Morsi, chairperson of the movement's Freedom and Justice Party.

Egypt's electoral commission confirmed on Tuesday that 10 candidates have been barred from the May 23-24 presidential election, including Shater, Mubarak's ex-spy chief Omar Suleiman and Salafist candidate Hazem Abu Ismail.

Shater, who was in jail last year on charges of terrorism and money laundering, was barred because of a law stating candidates can only run in elections six years after being released or pardoned.