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Protests break out, as Egypt considers disqualifying presidential candidate

Mohammed Hossam / AFP - Getty Images

Supporters of Egyptian Salafist candidate Hazem Abu Ismail hold his posters as they shout slogans at Tahrir Square in Cairo on April 6, during a protest against a potential decision to rule him out of Egypt's presidential election because his mother reportedly held US nationality. Under the country's electoral law, all candidates for the presidency, their parents and their wives must have only Egyptian citizenship.

Mohammed Hossam / AFP - Getty Images

An Egyptian man against Salafist candidate Hazem Abu Ismail scuffles with his supporters in Cairo on April 6 as thousands of his supporters gather nearby to protest against a potential decision to rule him out of Egypt's presidential election because his mother reportedly held US nationality. Under the country's electoral law, all candidates for the presidency, their parents and their wives must have only Egyptian citizenship.

Khaled Elfiqi / EPA

A general view shows protesters holding a giant Egyptian flag and a poster depicting the presidential hopeful Hazem Abu Ismail, during a protest in Tahrir square, Cairo, Egypt, on April 6. Thousands rallied on 06 April in central Cairo against the Egyptian government, after a ministry hinted a popular Islamist presidential hopeful might be disqualified because his mother was a US citizen.

An ultraconservative Islamist whose denunciations of American power have helped propel him to the front of Egypt’s presidential race appears to have been tripped up by his own American connections.

The mother of the candidate, Sheik Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, became an American citizen before she died, according to California public records and a Los Angeles voter registration Web site. That would disqualify Mr. Abu Ismail from running for president under current Egyptian law. And his exit would again scramble the race to become the first president since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, setting the template for Egypt’s future leadership.

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-- The New York Times