Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has nominated its deputy general guide, Khairat el Shater, as its candidate to the upcoming presidential elections, scheduled for June 2012.
The nomination comes after a vote by members of the movement at the Shura Council. Shater won 56 votes out of 108.
Aged 62, Shater is number two in the Muslim Brotherhood. He was imprisoned in 2007, before being released by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in March 2011. After the victory of the Brotherhood's party in the parliamentary elections, he was considered as a candidate for prime minister in the coalition government.
The supreme leader of the Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, confirmed the appointment of Shater at a press conference and read a brief statement about the candidate, who was not present. "I can only accept the decision of the Muslim Brotherhood to appoint me as their candidate for president. Therefore, I will resign of my position as assistant guide," he wrote in a statement.
The Muslim Brotherhood has stressed that the appointment of Shater was not a reversal, but necessary. "The revolution and the democratic process are truly threatened," said the secretary general of the Brotherhood, Mahmoud Hussein.