Opponents vote to send Egypt's Mursi into space

CAIRO (AFP) - Opponents of Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi are voting to send him where no Islamist leader has gone before: outer space.

Mursi on Saturday was leading the field in Egypt in an online contest sponsored by deodorant makers Axe to send a lucky few on a shuttle operated by space tourism company Space Expedition Corp.

Egypt's opposition movement April 6 entered Mursi into the competition.

"With God's help, and under His care, Mursi will soon be launched to the moon," the group said on its Facebook page, along with a picture of the president in a spacesuit.

The presidency has not responded to the campaign on behalf of the former engineer and self-professed "Planet of the Apes" fan.

But his opponents have enthusiastically embraced the possibility. "I just voted for Mursi to go to space. Proudest moment in voting history," one of them wrote on Twitter.

Trailing far behind Mursi's almost 22,000 votes, Egyptian mountain climber Omar Samra said he selected Mursi even though he himself dreamed of going into space.

"That awkward moment when you're confused between fulfilling your dream to go to space and sending your president into orbit," he wrote on Twitter.

Twenty-two winners from around the world will be trained for the trip at a camp in Florida, United States, before they board the shuttle to take them 103km above the Earth.