Egyptian Runoff Candidate’s HQ Set Ablazed

Egyptian Runoff CAIRO (AFP) – Attackers set fire Monday to the headquarters of Egyptian presidential runoff candidate Ahmed Shafiq, an ex-prime minister under the ousted regime of Hosni Mubarak, an AFP journalist said.

An annex of Shafiq’s headquarters in Cairo was set ablaze late on Monday. There were no immediate reports of injuries and firefighters said the blaze was quickly put under control.

“We were inside when they attacked us,” one member of Shafiq’s campaign staff said, without identifying himself. “They set fire to the garage that had general Shafiq’s campaign literature.”

Around 20 Shafiq supporters gathered outside the headquarters following the blaze, chanting their support amid pro-Shafiq literature littering the pavement on the street in the Dokki neighbourhood.

Shafiq is to face the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi in the second round of Egypt’s presidential election on June 16-17.

Around 1,000 demonstrators had gathered Monday in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square to protest Shafiq’s presence on the runoff ballot after election officials announced the results of the first-round poll.

Results from the first round, Egypt’s first free presidential elections made possible by the 2011 uprising led by pro-democracy activists, exposed a deep rift within the country, with voters now facing a choice between a conservative Islamist or a symbol of the hated Mubarak regime.

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