If vote counts continue on their current course, Ahmed Shafiq, 71, will finish in second place in the first round of the Egyptian presidential election with around 24% of the vote, thereby vaunting him into a runoff with the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, Mohammed Morsi.
Shafiq, among the top five candidate vying for the Egyptian presidency, is the most ‘felool’ — the ‘remnants’ associated with the former Mubarak regime. A senior commander in the Egyptian air force dating back to the days of the Sadat era, Shafiq served as commander of Egypt’s Air Force from 1996 to 2002. Thereupon, he served as the minister of civil aviation from 2002 to 2011.
He was Mubarak’s final prime minister as well, having been appointed at the end of January 2011 in response to the Tahrir Square protests against Mubarak’s rule.
As such, he is seen not only as the premier ‘felool’ candidate, but also the favored candidate of the Egyptian army, and the favored candidate of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces that has governed Egypt during its transition since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. He is seen as the stand-in, in many ways, to Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s longtime intelligence chief and Mubarak’s final vice president. Either one, in a runoff against an Islamist, must certainly represent the “deep state” of Egyptian public life. Continue reading Egypt runoff: who is Ahmed Shafiq?