Photo: Courtesy of iPolitics
OTTAWA (CUP)—Months after an anonymous website attempted to link Liberal “green-lighted” nomination hopeful Nour El Kadri, with a right wing Syrian political party—the high-profile academic’s green light turned red.
El Kadri is a professor at the University of Ottawa’s electrical engineering and computer science faculty, and management faculty, who unsuccessfully sought a Liberal nomination in 2011, and who was seeking federal Liberal nomination in the riding of Nepean-Ottawa.
But this week, the Liberal Party’s “green light committee” decided El Kadri wouldn’t be permitted to run.
A spokesperson for the Liberal Party wouldn’t confirm whether El Kadri’s name was pulled because of his alleged relationship with the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, which was reported by iPolitics in January.
“I can confirm Nour El Kadri won’t be a candidate. His name won’t be on the ballot,” said Olivier Duchesneau.
The Syrian Social Nationalist Party is linked to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and has been linked to suicide bombings and assassinations.
The website – linking El Kadri to the Syrian party – is sophisticated in the delivery of its content. The site manages to smear El Kadri, but instead reads as though it’s an endorsement.
Amongst political endorsements from Sheila Copps and former Speaker of the House of Commons Peter Milliken are broken links to Syrian Social Nationalist Party websites, and a Google-translated article from Shabanews.com that alleges El Kadri is pro al-Assad.
El Kadri told iPolitics in January that he has never had any involvement in the Syrian Social Nationalist Party.
Until now, El Kadri has been actively campaigning. He attended “An Evening With Marc Garneau” held at a pub in Nepean, where the veteran Liberal MP introduced El Kadri alongside his competition, Kevin O’Brien, Rasheda Nawaz and Chandra Arya, who are the remaining contestants in the riding.
El Kadri had been using his social media sites to leverage his klout, it appears. His profile picture on his personal Facebook page is of him and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau—his official page has much of the same information as his personal one, including photos from events with Liberal MPs including Garneau, liberal candidate Lt. General Andrew Leslie, and Liberal Senator Joseph A. Day.
“With my Liberal friends MPs and Senators. What a wonderful celebration of the Chinese New Year Centre Shaw Centre. Happy New Year to all. Year of the Goat! (some say Sheep or Ram). 新年快乐,” El Kadri posted to his official Facebook page on Feb. 18.
El Kadri’s profile has been removed from the federal Liberal riding association of Nepean’s website