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Egyptian protesters rally to keep Islamist in race

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CAIRO >> Thousands of people are rallying in Cairo in support of an ultraconservative Islamist presidential hopeful who may be disqualified from the race after it was announced that his mother was an American citizen.

The Egyptian election commission ruling has angered Hazem Abu Ismail’s supporters, who were marching Friday to the capital’s Tahrir Square, a focal point for protests.

Abu Ismail has said he faces a “plot.” His campaign chief Gamal Saber says that the country’s military rulers were looking for ways to disqualify the candidate.

If Abu Ismail cannot run, Muslim Brotherhood candidate Khairat el-Shater would lose his main competitor for the powerful Islamist vote.

The presidential elections end of May are the first since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in last year’s uprising.

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