Egypt's leading contender in the presidential race is a "truther" — someone who believes the attacks on 9/11 were a U.S. government conspiracy.
And he is considered a "liberal" in the election, according to insiders.
Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh, formerly a leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, led the other 13 candidates with 32 percent of the vote in a survey released Monday by the Washington-based Brookings Institution, The Washington Times reports.
Masterminding 9/11 “was too big an operation . . . They [the United States] didn’t bring this crime before the U.S. justice system until now. Why? Because it’s part of a conspiracy,” Abolfotoh is quoted saying.
Abolfotoh is considered by some to be a more liberal cadidate because he has said that a Christian should be able to run for president.
He split with the Muslim Brotherhood over "differences regarding strategy and internal administration, not ideology,” the Times quotes Washington Institute's Eric Trager as saying.
As for the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization initially declined to enter a candidate saying it was content to simply help usher in Arab Spring reforms. Many around the world worried over the Brotherhood's influence in political matters given the organization's call for Shariah, hardline Islamic law. However, since entering candidate Mohamed Mursi, the organization has campaigned tirelessly.
Mursi, 60, is a U.S.-educated engineer and head of the Muslim Brotherhood's political party. He was, however, the 's reserve candidate for the organization. First-choice millionaire businessman Khairat al-Shater was disqualified by over an unresolved conviction, Reuters reports.
Besides Mursi and Abolfotouh, the main front-runners are former foreign minister and Arab League chief Amr Moussa, 75, Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under Mubarak, and Hamdeen Sabahy, 57, a pan-Arab leftist.
On Wednesday and Thursday Egyptians will vote for the first time in history to pick their leader, to replace Hosni Mubarak ousted last February.
Who they vote for will have far-reaching implications for day-to-day living for the average citizen. Egypt's 50 million voters face a stark choice: a republic governed by Shariah, a liberal state, or some type of puppet regime ruled behind the scenes by a military body.
The winner of the election faces enormous burdens: According to correspondent Judith Miller, about 40 percent of Egypt's 82 million people live on less than $2 a day, and 30 percent are illiterate.
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