Ahmed Shafiq (Photo: Ahram Online)
In his first statements since losing Egypt’s presidential race, former Mubarak premier Ahmed Shafiq said that as a citizen he will be "waiting for president-elect Mohamed Morsi to meet the demands of last year’s uprising and achieve stability."
Shafiq, who lost in the presidential runoff after his rival Morsi secured nearly 52 per cent of the vote, stressed that he wishes Egypt’s new leader the best of luck and expressed confidence in the Muslim Brotherhood candidate's ability to set the country on track.
"I congratulated him… I hope all the disagreements that erupted among Egyptians will disappear and that the president will fulfil the demands of the revolution," the 70-year-old told CBC TV.
"I would like to thank all Egyptians: those who voted for me and those who didn’t. Now everyone must respect the president.
"Achieving priorities is what I am waiting for now; priorities I would have sought to fulfil if I had won, such as: security, economic growth and attracting foreign investors."
Shafiq also denied that he had plans to establish a political party. Such a move, he says, would cause a rift between Egyptians.
"Those who voted for me are around 48 per cent of the Egyptian people; there won’t be any plans to form a party that could divide the country. We are working for Egypt.
"If I was asked to take up any position to capitalise on my experience I would not refuse to and I would be honoured," he told the private television station.
Shafiq flew to the UAE early Tuesday morning reportedly to visit a friend and then complete omra (the Islamic lesser pilgrimage) in Saudi Arabia. His departure comes, however, amid speculation that he may soon face graft charges.
Civil aviation minister from 2002 to 2011, Shafiq had earlier held a host of high-profile governmental and military positions. In the days leading to the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak, Shafiq was appointed prime minister in what is understood to be an effort to abort last year's uprising.
Shortly after Mubarak's ouster, Shafiq was relieved of his duties and all but vanished from the political scene. His announcement in December 2011 of his intention to run for president, however, marked his return to the public arena.
There has been no love lost between Shafiq and the Egyptian revolutionary forces, which categorically refused to see an ex-Mubarak strongman become the next president.