Egypt erupts at vote results, Shafik residence attacked
Angry protestors in Cairo attacked and set fire to the home of presidential candidate Ahmad Shafik Monday night. Thousands of raging Egyptians gathered at Tahrir Square to protest last week’s first round of the country’s presidential election.
Shafik and his advisors were in his residence at the time of the assault, one of his aides said. The candidate’s headquarters also saw attacks. The results of last week’s vote were released on Monday, triggering a new wave of disappointment. The runoff scheduled for June 16-17 will now pit former Mubarak supporter Ahmad Shafik against Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi. The polarizing choice between the two candidates appears to have protestors asking “what happened to the revolution?” While one candidate is viewed as a return to Mubarak-era rule, the other is seen as potentially putting the country on the road to becoming an Islamic State. The demonstrators took to the streets to voice their discontent at the fact that these two candidates did not represent the people, did not represent the middle ground, Cairo-based freelance journalist Ghazala Irshad told RT. “They are polar opposites, they are two extremes and a lot of the people who support the revolution feel that their voices were not properly represented.”Morsi has vocally supported the Muslim Brotherhood’s stance of “Islam is the Answer”. Shafiq has claimed the country needs a gradual transition, and has tried to distance himself from the shadow of the former president by saying there is no going back to the Mubarak era.Although both are trying to position themselves as moderates as they vie for the support of the losers in the May 28th first round, the liberal population of Egypt seems frustrated with the choice. Sonia Farid in a report for Al Arabiya remarked that Morsi and Shafik represent “two typically tyrannical institutions: the first (Morsi) being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the second (Shafik) a senior official of the former regime.”Tahrir Square was the site of the massive uprisings last spring that eventually ousted President Hosni Mubarak after almost 30 years in office.