Egypt election aftermath: Ahmad Shafiq’s office torched


    Cairo (NVONews.Com): Jn a post-poll violence in Egyptian capital a mob, said to be the supporters of Leftist candidate, late on Monday set ablaze the campaign headquarters of Ahmad Shafiq, one of the two presidential candidates. Cities like Alexandria, Port Said and Suez also witnessed protest against, what they allege, rigging in the election.

    The attack came just hours after the Election Commission announced that Shafiq, the last Prime Minister of Mubarak and former Air Force chief, would face the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, Mohammed Mursi, in a June 16-17 runoff.

    It came as a bit of setback for Shafiq as he has been targeted by the secular elements whereas Islamists of various hues and colours have closed their ranks for the June 16-17 election.

    Since Shafiq symbolizes the old regime he is likely to face the ire of those voters, who are not inclined towards Muslim Brotherhood.

    Mobs of young men used bricks to smash the windows of Shafiq’s headquarters in the upscale Cairo neighbourhood. The youths tossed out campaign signs and tore up his posters. Then they torched the building. However, there were no reports of injuries. Eight people were arrested in this connection.

    Shafiq’s men accused supporters of Leftist candidate Hamdeen Sabahi for the attack. The latter came close third after Shafiq in the race in which Mursi ended up as the first choice of the voters.

    Curiously, hundred of Shafiq’s supporters who gathered outside the building, shouted slogans against the Muslim Brotherhood, as it controls the parliament and is now seeking the presidency.

    According to the Election Commission Mursi won close to 5.8 million votes, or almost 25 percent, while Shafiq received 5.5 million votes, or nearly 24 percent. Sabahi, a Socialist, finished third with 4.8 million votes, or about 21 percent. Fourth place went to moderate Islamist Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh, who got 17 per cent votes. The May 23-24 first round of election witnessed 50 per cent turnout.

    In Tahrir Square many people shouted slogans against the military alleging that it is trying to perpetuate the Mubarak regime and that the poll was rigged.

    They also sought a law, approved by parliament, banning former high-level regime officials from running in the election. In this case it could apply to Shafiq. Egypt’s Constitutional Court is set to look at the law just four days before the runoff.