The candidates that were barred from standing in the upcoming Egyptian elections have lost their appeals, marking another twist in the Egyptian presidency saga.
Ten candidates in the Egyptian presidential election, including Hosni Mubarak's spy chief Omar Suleiman, Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat el-Shater and Islamic preacher Hazem Abu Ismail, lost appeals Tuesday against their disqualification.
"All appeals have been rejected because nothing new was offered in the appeal requests," a member of the investigating judicial committee said.
The committee had spent all day hearing the candidates' appeals. The three individuals were banned from standing for different reasons.
Suleiman was barred because of his failure to get enough endorsements from all 15 provinces, as the law demands.
Shater was rejected because of a law that stipulates that candidates linked to criminal activity in the past cannot stand in elections until they have been released or pardoned for six years; he was imprisoned last year for terrorism and money laundering.
Abu Ismail was disqualified because his mother holds a foreign passport. Election rules say that the parents of candidates must be solely Egyptian citizens.
The development is a boost for the country's secular liberals and for other Islamists standing in the election.
The Muslim Brotherhood, the best organized political organization in Egypt, is still in the race. Mohamed Mursi, who heads the group's political party, was nominated as a back-up candidate in the event of Shater's disqualification.
The presidential election is scheduled to kick off with a first round of voting on May 23 and 24. Commentators expect that to lead to a run-off in June between the top two candidates. The ruling military council is scheduled to transfer power to the new president on July 1.
sej/ncy (AFP, AP, Reuters)