Thousands of Egyptians rallied in Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Friday, in what they said was a show of strength against plans by one of deposed leader Hosni Mubarak’s key allies to run for the presidency.
The Islamist group Muslim Brotherhood called the protest after former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman announced his candidacy last week.
Demonstrators said if Suleiman were to win, the revolution of the last 15 months would have achieved nothing.
“Omar Suleiman’s was the next in line after Hosni Mubarak. How dare this man decide to stand in the election,” said one man.
Another highlighted Suleiman’s recent jail term for money laundering: “I want to remind all of Suleiman’s supporters that he was involved in acts of bribery,” he said.
But not all Egyptians were so supportive of the aims of the main Islamist parties who took to the streets: “The Muslim Brotherhood are now protesting against the military who were, until yesterday, their friends. They come to protest their own self-interest and not those of the Egyptian people,” said one unnamed onlooker.
Suleiman’s candidacy is also under threat by a new law banning some former Mubarak officials participating in the upcoming vote. Parliament passed the legislation on Thursday. Analysts doubt whether the new ban will be enacted by Egypt’s military council.