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Tension mounts ahead of Egypt's presidential election

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Tension mounts ahead of Egypt's presidential election


A week before the second round of Egypt’s presidential election, there has been a mass protest against candidate Ahmed Shafik in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

The former fighter pilot was part of deposed President Hosni Mubarak’s regime, serving as prime minister in its dying days. For a huge swathe of the population, the idea he could be the new president is simply unthinkable.

“We’re demanding Ahmed Shafik be kicked out,” said one man. “And as for the ridiculous trial of Mubarak, we have to start it over again because 1,200 martyrs are dead and they are owed that.”

“We want a president who can take care of us,” says another, “and who will be clement with his people, and who will hold a retrial for Mubarak and his children.”

But not all those who oppose Shafik support his rival, Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Mursi.

Many Egyptians distrust the party for reneging on a promise not to run for the presidency, while others said they were frustrated at having to chose between two of Egypt’s most polarising politicians.

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