Thursday, May 31, 2012

Protesters throw shoes at presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq

Shoes, abuse hurled at ex-premier

May 24, 2012

Protesters threw stones and shoes at Egyptian presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq after he cast his ballot yesterday, taking aim at the former prime minister for serving under deposed leader Hosni Mubarak.

As the ex-air force commander and aviation minister voted at a Cairo polling station, protesters gathered outside chanting “Down with military rule” and “Down with the regime.”

Relatives of people killed in last year’s uprising that toppled Mubarak clutching pictures of the victims.
“The coward is here. The criminal is here,” they cried as Shafiq’s car pulled into the area.

“You killed the martyrs. Their blood is on your hands. We either get their rights or die like them,” the protesters chanted. “We don’t want you here,” they shouted, calling Shafiq a “feloul”, or remnant, of the Mubarak era.

Protesters took off their shoes and some threw them at Shafiq, 70, as he made his way into the polling station, his armed bodyguards protecting him from the crowd.

The supervising judge briefly suspended voting, but Shafiq eventually cast his ballot.

His candidacy has polarized Egyptians, with some seeing him as a return to the past and others as a force for stability.

Shafiq’s supporters and opponents threw stones and glasses at each other as he drove away from the polling station. Several parked cars had their windshields broken.

Earlier in the day, Shafiq had defended himself against critics of his role in Mubarak’s day. “I worked for the big family of Egypt not for someone or for a regime,” he said.

*Photo courtesy of REUTERS

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