World Bulletin / News Desk
Egypt's ruling Muslim Brotherhood has nominated one of its senior leaders for the influential position of grand mufti, the nation's top cleric.
Islamic scholars chaired by the head of the ancient seat of learning, Al-Azhar, are due to pick a new mufti on Monday from a shortlist of three candidates and send their choice to President Mohamed Mursi to approve.
The mufti is empowered to issue opinions (fatwas) on any matter, influencing legislation on social and cultural issues, public behaviour and court rulings.
The selection falls on the second anniversary of the resignation of veteran President Hosni Mubarak, ousted by a pro-democracy uprising. Several organisations have called anti-Mursi protests on the same day.
The leading candidate is Abdul Rahman al-Bar, 50, a member of the Brotherhood's decision-making Supreme Guidance Council who was jailed under Mubarak and helped draft a new constitution adopted in December that expanded Islamic oversight.
The mufti serves until he reaches retirement age at 60. Gomaa was granted a one-year extension by the military council that ruled Egypt until Mursi was elected last year.
A top official in the mufti's office (Dar al-Ifta) said Bar was the most likely pick and the Brotherhood had been grooming him since last year.Last Mod: 10 Şubat 2013, 17:41