Thousands gathered overnight in Tahrir Square, Cairo, to demonstrate against Egypt’s election results which will pit deposed ruler Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister Ahmed Shafiq against Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Mursi in a runoff election on June 16 and 17, al Ahram reports.
According to Egypt’s Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) officially announced on Monday the results of the first round, with Mohamed Mursi at the head of the pack with 5,764,952 votes, and Ahmed Shafiq second with 5,505,327 votes.
46.42 per cent of eligible voters participated in the first round.
On Monday night, Shafiq’s presidential campaign headquarters in the upscale Dokki neighborhood in Cairo were ransacked and set on fire.
“They seemed to know what they were after and they went directly to the storage rooms and set them on fire using petrol bombs,” Ahmed Abdel Ghani, 30, a member of Shafiq’s campaign, told Reuters.
The main headquarters villa did not burn, but protesters destroyed computers inside.
Graffiti on the wall outside the villa read: “No to Shafiq, no to feloul” (an Arabic word referring to the “remnants” of Mubarak’s era).
“We are sending a message to the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) that we will never accept Ahmed Shafiq as our next president. He is the second Mubarak and was even in the Air Force like the ousted leader,” Aly, 24, a pharmacist, told al Ahram. “Personally I think the elections were rigged to put Mursi first, as it would have been a crisis if Shafiq was top – but, make no mistake, Shafiq is the military’s man.”
Soon the number of protesters in the square grew to thousands, led by former presidential contender and a left-wing labour lawyer Khaled Ali, who marched to Talaat Harb Square and around downtown Cairo before coming back to Tahrir Square.
“Smash Shafiq on his head,” the marchers chanted, holding Mubarak’s prime minister’s presidential campaign posters upside down with his face crossed out.
Others chanted “Down with the dogs of the military regime” and called on bystanders in balconies to join them.
One protestor held a poster saying “If Shafiq wins, we are all dead.”Jacob Edelist