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Presidential hopeful Ahmed Shafiq said Hosni Mubarak was and still is his role model because the ousted president combined decisiveness and compassion.
He said he’s proud about that and will declare it until the last day of his life.
“If I became a president, Islamists should understand me. I have been a successful minister for 10 years. My experiences qualify me for the president post,” Shafiq said in a talk show aired on the privately owned TV channel Al-Hayat on Monday.
Shafiq, a former minister under Mubarak, addressed the issue of Salafi MP Anwar al-Balkimy. In March, Balkimy claimed he sustained a nose injury during an armed robbery. But it was later discovered that he had lied about it to cover up a nose job operation he had received at a private hospital.
Shafiq expressed appreciation toward all participants at the political process, saying that the event “is an example of what Egypt has been through. What do you expect from entities who had never practiced policy before?”
Shafiq said he might withdraw from the presidential race if former Vice President Omar Suleiman decided to run. He also wondered about other hopefuls’ boldness to run for president.
“Amr Moussa is a friend, but I won’t step back for his sake. I’m a religious person and was raised in a religious house,” Shafiq said.
Sources close to Suleiman said he told close associates during a meeting at his home that he had decided to run for president.
Mixed reports have circulated regarding Suleiman’s intention to throw his hat in the ring for elections slated for 23 and 24 May. Earlier in March, media reports quoted his campaign coordinator as saying that he had decided not to run for the post.
Regarding the nomination of Muslim Brotherhood figure Khairat al-Shater, Shafiq said, “I expected it. Citizens believe Shater’s nomination affects votes for Islamist hopefuls.” He said he made the decision to release Shater from prison when he prime minister.
If Shater was serious about his nomination, Shafiq said, he should abandon his business.
Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm