Protesters arrive in Tahrir for 'Disenfranchisement Friday' rally

Ahram Online, Friday 1 Jun 2012

The 'Disenfranchisement Friday' mobilisation kicks off on Friday afternoon in Tahrir Square to demand that former Mubarak PM Ahmed Shafiq not be permitted to continue to run in the presidential elections

Protesters raise shoes up in disrespect of presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

Tens of protesters have begun filtering into Tahrir Square to participate in the "Disenfranchisement Friday," protests to demand that presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq be barred from running for the country's highest office.

Protesters chanted, "down with the military rule, the people are a red line."

Others screamed, "Why Shafiq? Is Mubarak coming back?"

"How can the man who killed your brother become your president?"

The protesters also held banners with "save the revolution" and "Minister of justice: Where is the Disenfranchisement Law?" scrawled on them.

Some demonstrators also expressed their displeasure with the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi who has made it, ahead of Shafiq, to the second and final round of elections.

Several political groups including the Revolution Youth Union, Kefaya and April 6 youth movement have called for nationwide protests on Friday to demand the Disenfranchisement Law which was passed by parliament in April be applied to Shafiq thus excluding him from the presidential race.

Eight marches were expected to kick off from El-Estekama mosque in Giza, Mostafa Mahmoud mosque in Mohandessin, El-Khazindar mosque in Shoubra, El-Fath mosque in Ramsis, El-Saida Zeinab mosque, in addition to other marches from Maadi and Cairo University. All marches will make it to Tahrir Square after Islamic midday prayers. Protesters are then planning to stay in Tahrir Square till 4 pm then kick off again to the general prosecutor's office.

Shafiq was Mubarak's civil aviation minister between 2001-2011and was appointed by the then-president as a premier during the 18-day uprising in late January 2011 in a last-ditch attempt to appease the protesters.

Shafiq resigned from his post a few weeks after Mubarak stepped down under mass pressure. In December 2011, he announced that he will run for office - much to the chagrin of revolutionaries.

In the first round of elections, Shafiq competed with 13 other candidates and emerged as a winner. He is set to face Morsi in the second round slated for 16-17 June.

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