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Egypt revolutionary groups call for Friday rallies to shelve candidate Shafiq

Revolutionary Youth Union and April 6 call for 'Disenfranchisement Friday' rally against Ahmed Shafiq in Tahrir Square describing the presidential candidate as an unwanted reminder of a difficult past

Ahram Online, Friday 1 Jun 2012
Ahmed Shafiq
Protesters attend a demonstration against presidential candidates Mohamed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq at Tahrir Square in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
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The Revolutionary Youth Union has called on Egyptians to head to Tahrir Square and other cities in Egypt on 'Disenfranchisement Friday' to demand the exclusion of Mubarak-era prime minister Ahmed Shafiq from the presidential race.

The Union, an offshoot of the January 25 uprising against the ousted president Mubarak, demands the implementation of the recently passed Political Disenfranchisement Law – which would bar Mubarak-era officials, including Shafiq, from holding political office for 10 years.

The constitutionality of the law, which was passed by parliament in April, is being determined by the High Constitutional Court, with a verdict expected in the next few weeks.

Shafiq came second in the presidential election first round on 23/24 May and will face the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi in the second round slated for 16-17 June.

In a statement released Thursday, the Union held Shafiq responsible for the Battle of the Camel which left 11 Egyptians dead and hundreds injured on 2/3 February 2011during the uprising.

Ousted president Mubarak had installed Shafiq, an ex aviation minister, as prime minister in late January 2011 in  an attempt to quell the growing protests. However, only two days later, thugs on horses and camels attacked protesters in Tahrir Square.

"Shafiq is the prime minister of the Battle of the Camel. He was a witness and a partner in the death of Egypt's innocent youth. He was also a partner of Mubarak in destroying the political, economic and social life of Egypt," the Union said in a statement on Thursday.

The Union asked people to join the protests under the slogan of "No to a new Mubarak," a nod to the fact that many revolutionaries believe that if Shafiq becomes president he will resurrect the Mubarak regime. They also asked the public to snub the results of the first round of the elections.

"The elections were rigged, and forced people to choose between a member of the old regime and a Muslim Brotherhood candidate," the statement continued.

Eight marches will 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.

April 6 Youth Movement is among the movements calling for this protest and it will kick off its march to Tahrir from El-Fath mosque.

"We are calling for the implementation of the disenfranchisement law to exclude Ahmed Shafiq from the runoffs," Tarek El-Khouli, the spokesperson of April 6 Youth Movement (the Democratic Front) told Ahram Arabic language website.

Moreover, April 6 Youth Movement said it is against the reluctance by government officials to investigate the former Ahmed Shafiq on corruption charges and refusal to apply the disenfranchisement law on him.

Meanwhile, in Alexandria, April 6 Youth Movement, Kefaya Movement, Hamdeen Sabbahi presidential campaign among other political groups are planning to protest out of El-Qaed Ibrahim Mosque after midday prayers.

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