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Ear to the Ground

For Egypt, It’s a Military Man or an Islamist

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Posted on May 29, 2012
Gigi Ibrahim (CC BY 2.0)

Hundreds of Egyptians set fire to the campaign headquarters of Ahmed Shafik after it was announced Tuesday that the Mubarak-era senior military commander had won enough votes to enter a runoff contest with the Islamic candidate Mohamed Morsi.

Fear of Islamic leadership appears to be persuading a great number of Egyptians to vote for an outright sympathizer of Mubarak and an avowed opponent of anti-regime protesters.

“If the runoff is between Morsi and Shafik, I will vote for Shafik,” said Saleh Ali Ahmed, a 39-year-old self-described Muslim, on the first day of the election. “Morsi is very weak within the [Muslim] Brotherhood, and he will have no real power.” —ARK

Global Post:

Hundreds of demonstrators took to Cairo’s iconic Tahrir Square to rally against Shafiq, a member and unabashed supporter of the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak, toppled last year following a wave of popular protests. At least eight people were arrested, but no injuries or deaths were reported.

Campaigning on law and order and a heavy-handed crackdown on anti-regime protesters, Shafiq secured second place in last week’s vote. In what many Egyptians say is the most polarizing outcome of the elections, Shafiq will face the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, Mohamed Morsi, in a run-off that pits Islamists against a Mubarak holdover on June 16.

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