Muslim Brotherhood names presidential candidate in Egypt

CAIRO: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is to field its deputy chairman Khairat al-Shater as a candidate in the upcoming presidential election, the group’s party and supreme guide said on Saturday. “The Freedom and Justice Party will nominate Khairat al-Shater as a candidate for the presidency,” the FJP said on its Facebook page.The 61-year-old professor of engineering and business tycoon will be standing in the country’s first presidential election since a popular uprising ousted veteran leader Hosni Mubarak last year. The election is scheduled for May 23 and 24. The Brotherhood’s supreme guide, Mohammed Badie, confirmed Shater’s nomination at a news conference when he read out a brief statement from Shater, who was not present.”After it was decided to field my name in the presidential elections, I can only accept the decision of the Brotherhood. I will therefore resign from my position as deputy chairman,” Shater’s statement said. The Muslim Brotherhood had repeatedly said it would not put forward a member for the election, but its leadership insists that Shater’s nomination is not an about turn, but a necessary measure in the face of developments. “There is a real threat to the revolution and to the democratic process,” said the Brotherhood’s secretary general, Mahmud Hussein. The nomination is likely to intensify a stand-off with the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which took power when Mubarak was ousted in February, 2011.