Wednesday Oct 05, 201106:12 AM GMT
'Egypt eyes pro-Palestinian candidates'
Tue Oct 4, 2011 10:35AM
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A file photo of a protest rally in the Egyptian capital
A recent opinion poll suggests that Egyptians are inclined toward presidential hopefuls that have been critical of the Israeli regime and their policies against Palestinians.

Nearly 42 percent of a sample of 1,030 respondents of a Press TV survey conducted by Synovate, have expressed interest in Amr Moussa, former Egyptian foreign minister and general secretary of the Arab League, as the favorite presidential contender in a free election.

According to the poll, released Monday, only 13 percent of respondents favored the candidacy of Mohammed ElBaradei, a law scholar and the previous director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Both Moussa and ElBaradei have in the past criticized Israeli policies against Palestinians and in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, 15 percent of those polled said they would vote for Ahmed Shafiq, the former commander in the Egyptian air force and a politician that served as Prime Minister of Egypt from January 2011 to March 2011.

The poll also hints at a growing tendency toward Islamic groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

The latest survey further illustrates an overwhelming opposition in Egypt against the country's gas deal with Israel as around three out of four respondents voted for the annulment of Cairo's gas contract with Tel Aviv.

Some 73 percent of the participants also believed that US President Barack Obama has failed to deliver on his pledge to reach out to the Muslim world and polish America's image in the Middle East.

The poll comes after Egyptian parties held a meeting in the capital Cairo recently to discuss Egypt's ruling military council's ratification on amending the nation's electoral law.

The council made the decision on Saturday following days of public protests demanding the speedy transfer of power to a civilian rule.

Opponents of Article 5 of the election law, which considers two-thirds of the seats for parties and the rest for independent candidates, fear that the article would help old regime figures return to the Egyptian parliament.

Cairo was the scene of angry protests in the past few days with the historic Liberation Square filled by people demanding an end to emergency laws and demanding a speedy transfer of power to civilian rule.

Police attacked hundreds of the protesters in the square on Saturday with shields and batons, arresting 10.

At least 846 people were killed during the Egyptian uprising that led to the eventual downfall of the US-backed Mubarak regime in February.

Most Egyptians are still skeptical about a rapid transition towards democracy and civilian rule despite reports of a presidential election in the North African country in 2012.

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