Thursday, May 31, 2012

Citizen throws his shoe at presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq in Aswan

Egypt Independent

Citizen throws his shoe at Shafiq in Aswan

Fri, 18/05/2012

A citizen in Aswan Governorate threw his shoe at presidential hopeful and former Hosni Mubarak regime official Ahmed Shafiq during a campaign rally Thursday evening at Sheikh Haroun area in the City of Aswan.

Ahmed Hazem was sitting in the audience listening to Shafiq deliver a speech when he took off his shoe and hurled it towards the podium.

Shafiq's supporters in the audience then beat Hazem and kicked him out of the marquee.
"The difference of opinion does not invalidate intimacy; we have to be more patient and accept all these differences," Shafiq said in response to the insult.

Youth from the 25 January Revolution Youth Coalition and "Emsek Feloul Movement" (Catch a Remnant Movement) gathered outside the marquee and chanted  "Down with the remnants," and burned Shafiq posters.

Clashes followed between the youth from the two groups and Shafiq supporters, with both sides throwing stones and beating each other with sticks. Tazers were also reportedly used in the violence.
Shafiq left the rally through side streets, for fear of assault from the dozens of protesters who remained outside the marquee until the end of the rally.

In Qena Governorate, Muslim Brotherhood members and revolutionary youth objected to Shafiq’s visiting the  Abdel Rahim al-Qenawy Mosque, a landmark of Qena. Quarrels between them and Shafiq supporters did not prevent his visit, during which Shafiq paid his respects to the shrine of Sheikh Abdel Rahim al-Qenawy and performed his Friday prayers.

But Shafiq received a warm welcome from the leaders of Al-Ashraf tribe, one of Qena's largest. Eyewitnesses observed that a large number of members of former President Hosni Mubarak’s now-dissolved National Democratic Party were present, many of whom have laid low since the uprising that removed the president last year.

The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces sacked Shafiq in March 2011 in response to mass demonstrations demanding his removal for being part of the former regime.

Then, protesters were angry at Shafiq for mocking them. He had said he would give them candy if they left the square during the 18-day uprising that toppled the former president.

Mubarak appointed Shafiq as prime minister in an effort to appease protesters last winter. He remained in office for three weeks following the former president's departure.

Shafiq was previously the commander of the Air Force before Mubarak appointed him as minister of civil aviation from 2002 until 29 January 2011.

*Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm
*Photographed by Virginie Nguyen

No comments: