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Egypt presidential candidate pulls out to back Mussa

Amr Mussa left Mubarak’s government in 2001 (© 2009 AFP)

A candidate in Egypt’s first post-revolt presidential election pulled out of the race on Wednesday to support former Arab League chief Amr Mussa, state media reported.

Mohammed Fawzi Eissa, a lawyer for several ministers from ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s regime on trial for fraud, said he now supported Mussa as the next president of Egypt.

Eissa said his decision to quit the race, leaving 12 candidates still in contention, came from a desire “not to split the votes” of like-minded candidates, the official MENA news agency said.

“I have the honour to be joining the next presidential team as a supporter and I will urge my supporters” to do the same. “We have similar ideas,” Eissa said.

Egypt’s landmark presidential election, set for May 23-24, comes 15 months after mass nationwide protests ousted Mubarak and left the military in charge of the country.

Mussa, a leading contender in the race, faces competition from Ahmed Shafiq, who served as Mubarak’s last prime minister, as well as from Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi and a moderate Islamist, Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh.

Signature : CAIRO (AFP)

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