Shafiq visits mosque and church in Gharbiya

Ahram Online, Friday 30 Mar 2012

Mubarak's last prime minister and presidential candidate visits the governorate of Gharbiya on Friday, where he is received by hundreds of supporters

Ahmed Shafiq (Photo: Reuters)

Ahmed Shafiq, the last prime minister under Hosni Mubarak's rule, visited the governorate of Gharbiya on Friday as part of his electoral campaign for presidential candidacy.

A former commander of the Egyptian Air Force and politician, Ahmed Shafiq was a long-time minister in Mubarak's government and served for 57 days as his last prime minister in the final stretch of the rule of the ousted president.

Shafiq began his visit by performing the Friday prayers in Al-Emari mosque in the district of Sunbat in the governorate of Gharbiya. Afterwards, he headed to the church of El-Set Refqa where he gave a brief speech. Shafiq was then escorted out of the church by a rally of hundreds of residents who chanted in support of him as Egypt's next president.

Shafiq, who kept a low profile for several months after he was forced to step down as prime minister on 3 March, 2011, re-entered the public arena when he announced in December 2011 his intention to run for president.

He has not yet officially submitted his candidacy application, which requires at least 30,000 popular recommendations or 30 approving signatures from members of parliament, as decided by the High Commission of Presidential Elections.

Presidential elections will take place on 23 and 24 May, and the president will be named on 21 June after a runoff voting round on 16 and 17 June.

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