Mubarak’s former vice president quits Egyptian presidential race


Egypt’s former intelligence chief appointed vice president in last days of former president Hosni Mubarak’s rule said that he will not run for presidency, Egyptian media reported late Wednesday.

Omar Suleiman said that he failed to get over all the obstacles related to the organizational and administrative requirements of candidacy.

“I tried until yesterday morning to overcome the obstacles related to the current situation and the administrative, financial and organizational demands of candidacy, but I found that was beyond my capability,” he said.

Candidates bidding for the presidency need 30,000 signatures from people or support of a party in parliament.

The quitting of Suleiman from the presidential race is expected to cause uproar among tens of thousands of his supporters.

Suleiman, 76, occupied the vice presidency post for less than two weeks before Mubarak was forced to resign on Feb. 11, 2011.

Being one of Mubarak’s closest confidants, Suleiman was named for the number two job in a failed attempt to calm the popular uprising that erupted on Jan. 25. It was Suleiman who announced that Mubarak was stepping down and handing over power to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

The election on May 23 and 24 will be the first presidential vote since the ouster of Mubarak.

The military says it will hand power to the winner by the end of June. The front runners include Khairat al-Shater, a leader of the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, and former Arab League chief Amr Mussa.

(Written by Abeer Tayel)