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Saturday, 19 October 2019

Thousands protest against Egyptian election results; Shafiq HQ set on fire

Presidential contender Ali joins Cairo protests against Morsi, Shafiq election runoff; thugs attack demonstrators in Tahrir Square after Shafiq campaign offices are ransacked

Sarah Mourad, Bel Trew, Monday 28 May 2012
protests against results of presidential poll (Photo: Bassam El-Zoghby)
Views: 11575
Views: 11575

Unidentified assailants attacked protestors in Tahrir Square at midnight, Monday, after thousands gathered to demonstrate against Egypt's election results, that will see Mubarak's last prime minister Ahmed Shafiq and the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi face each in a runoff vote on 16 and 17 June.

Two hours earlier, unknown individuals ransacked and set fire to the former regime member's presidential campaign headquarters in Dokki, Cairo. Security forces arrested those suspected of starting the blaze. Fire trucks brought the fire under control a short while later.

During Monday afternoon, hundreds had staged protests against the electoral outcome outside Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC), and the headquarters of Egypt's Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) before joining Tahrir Square in the evening.

Similar protests took place across the country, including in Egypt's coastal city of Alexandria.

"We are sending a message to the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) that we will never accept Ahmed Shafiq as our next president. He is the second Mubarak and was even in the Air Force like the ousted leader," says Aly, 24, a pharmacist who often works with the makeshift field hospitals during the clashes. "Personally I think the elections were rigged to put Morsi first, as it would have been a crisis if Shafiq was top – but, make no mistake, Shafiq is the military's man."

As the numbers grew to thousands, protesters– led by Khaled Ali, a former presidential contender and a left-wing labour lawyer – marched to Talaat Harb Square and around downtown Cairo before returning to Tahrir.

"Smash Shafiq on his head," the marchers chanted, whilst holding the former prime minister's presidential campaign posters upside down with his face crossed out.

Others chanted "Down with the dogs of the military regime" and called on bystanders on balconies overlooking Talaat Harb street to join them.   

One protestor held a poster saying "If Shafiq wins, we are all dead" and others had the Ultras football fan flags of Zamalek White Knights team.

At one point protesters considered attempting to take down a huge billboard of Shafiq's campaign overlooking 6 October Bridge.

As traffic came to a standstill on the downtown streets, drivers abandoned their cars. There was mixed reaction from onlookers. One female shopper called out "Why are you angry now? Look what you've done –you've ruined everything."

Whereas another, an older male taxi driver told a group of people in the march, "God bless you, young people, I would join you if I didn't have to work."

Many protesters were angry with the possible return of Mubarak's last prime minister to power, and also what they believed to be vote-rigging against Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi, who finished third in the poll.

"The election was rigged by the SPEC to preserve the old regime," Khaled Ali told Al Jazeera Mubasher TV.

"I am calling for an independent judicial commission to review all ballots in order to confirm that the vote was rigged for Shafiq," Ali added.

Many of the protestors who stayed on Tahrir until the early hours of Tuesday morning, agreed with Ali.

"The elections were clearly controlled by the state," said Alaa Shafani,45, a ceramic worker from Mansoura whose son lost his leg during clashes with the police last year. "I boycotted the elections in the first place because they are illegal, how can you have presidential elections without a constitution?"

In the afternoon, outside SCC and SPEC headquarters, protestors had demanded the enforcement of a 'disenfranchisement law' banning former regime figures like Shafiq from returning to political life.

Application of the law – which has been endorsed by Parliament and the military junta but which still awaits approval by the SCC – would exclude Mubarak's last prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, from the presidential race. Liberal groups, for their part, are lobbying for Nasserist presidential contender Sabbahi to replace Shafiq in the upcoming runoffs.

Demonstrators called on Morsi to ally with other presidential contenders – such Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh and Sabbahi – to unite against 'remnants' of the Mubarak regime, in a reference to Shafiq.

Groups that endorsed Monday's demonstration outside the SCC and SPEC headquarters included the Revolutionary Youth Coalition, the Kefaya protest movement, the April 6 Youth Movement and the Revolutionary Socialists.

The SPEC announced at a Monday press conference that the Muslim Brotherhood's Morsi and Mubarak-era minister Shafiq would face each other in next month's runoff poll.

According to the constitutional declaration, issued by the ruling military council following last year's 18-day uprising and approved via popular referendum, decisions made by the SPEC cannot be appealed.

Runoffs for the presidential elections are slated for 16 and 17 of June.

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29-05-2012 04:07pm
True Revolution for Egyptians
After all the bloodshed and beatings of citizens by the Mubarak regime, the worst thing for the Egyptians is to have his right hand man Shafiq in power. I can only imagine how much the west is involved in interfering with a proper election for the people of Egypt in order to keep business as usual in the mid-east.
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Free Lady
29-05-2012 01:14pm
When we accepted Brothers to hold most of parliments. Then we need to accept present results too. Main lesson of democracy is to accept results as they are without thinking of loss or win. Protests are not in favor of national interest. Economy is already in tatters , tourism is touching lowest marks and foreign investment is null. At the moment best thing is to work on new political parties and civil society organizations. Prepare for next election from today.
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29-05-2012 01:57am
An insult to ourselves!
We had a revolution in order to obtain freedom, one of these freedoms was the right to vote.... Egypt spoke in the parliamentary elections and voted in the brotherhood and the Salafis.... and then regretted it as they did nothing for the people, the security vacuum has continued and nothing has improved for the average Egyptian. Many people voted for Shafiq for many reasons... to defeat the Muslims in power who have achieved nothing, to restore some normality and security to the country... and not forgetting a HUGE number of Egyptians are ex military. We won the right to vote and did.... and yet we still complain! We made a mess of the parliamentary voting and again in the presidential voting, we only have ourselves to blame! we voted and have to deal with the choices we made... an ex regime president or The Islamic state of the Brotherhood. We will never be a great nation again if we always blame someone else for our mistakes, we either blame "foreign hands" or the army... we vote
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29-05-2012 07:02pm
re: An insult to ourselves.
Yes it become an insult after the elections..They should have gone out to protest Shafiq enter the race. Egyptains are slow,but they are catching on. Shafiq /Souliman was endorced by SCAF they put bothe of them out there to see which one was more liked then they disqualify one. No doubt about it that the elections were fixed forget about the monitors these people are pros at fixing elections.
29-05-2012 12:01pm
The Egyptian parliament had no power!
What people fail to understand is that SCAF limited the power of parliament so they could make reforms or change. Real power lies with the government that is under control of SCAF!
um Abdullah
29-05-2012 11:38am
Where's the strict Islamic State?
People don't need to worry. The Muslim Brotherhood are and have been too liberal to make Egypt a strict Islamic state, as some people fear (although if one reads the Quran and hadith properly (and not propaganda) there is no such thing as a strict Islamic state). But the Muslim Brotherhood will keep the idea of God in politics, and this is a very important idea that should stay in politics so that everybody remembers they are accountable to someone higher than them and to keep a limit on 'freedom'. When I was a child living in the West, over 40 years ago, there was an unwritten code of behaviour which people followed. But then the idea of keeping religion out of politics spread, so now you hear reports of thousands of elderly people being killed in the hospitals of Denmark, without the patients' consent. Obama approving of single-sexed marriages and some Australian reformers wanting to introduce "after-birth abortion". This is not to mention the lawlessness and wanton brutality of the

28-05-2012 10:11pm
the Left and Democracy
Why are they protesting Morci: is winning a crime? what was he suppose to do? deny God, beome a communist, or worship Gamal Abdul Nassser. Frankly, from reading this site I now believe the leftists and Nasserists are the most undemocratic forces in Egypt.
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29-05-2012 05:48am
Right, but
they weren't protesting against Mursi, but against Shafik. Setting his headquarters on fire and shouting insults is sheer vandalism. They seem to sympathise with Mursi who would turn the country into an Islamic Empire should he win the run-off.

28-05-2012 10:05pm
You people don't understand democracy?? Your candidate lost, live with, it why drag us back into this selfish "revolution" life every time you don't get your way Tahrir Tahrir you pathetic people
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