- Life Style
Presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq and the Muslim Brotherhood sharpened their attacks on one another Sunday, just six days before the start of a runoff vote that will select Egypt's first freely elected president.
Shafiq started the round by accusing the Brotherhood of paying thugs to attack his campaign headquarters in the Dokki neighborhood of Cairo last month.
Shafiq, a former air force commander, said in a news conference: "They [the Brotherhood] insist on using dirty methods." He also said he has complained to the Presidential Elections Commission that the Brotherhood has used mosques to spread its message.
“I am an independent candidate backed by no party or group,” Shafiq said. “The Muslim Brotherhood candidate is backed by his group and supported by an undeclared organization.”
The runoff presidential election slated for 16 and 17 June pits Shafiq, appointed prime minister shortly before Hosni Mubarak resigned from office, against Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy.
Later in the day, the Brotherhood accused Shafiq of telling "huge lies" and said he did nothing to stop a notorious charge on protesters in what has come to be known as the "Battle of the Camel" during the 25 January 2011 uprising.
The group said in a statement that Shafiq's lies aim to tarnish the Brotherhood's image and mislead voters so that they either do not vote for Morsy or boycott the runoff altogether.
The statement also denounced Shafiq for accusing the Brotherhood of killing demonstrators in the Battle of the Camel, saying it is well-known that Mubarak's now-dissolved National Democratic Party orchestrated the attack in order to thwart the revolution.
Days before Mubarak was driven out on 11 February, men riding camels and horses charged demonstrators in Tahrir Square, stirring up frightening images seen around the world.
Shafiq is expected to testify in court on Monday in a case about the incident.
“Shafiq was a member of the dissolved [National Democratic] Party and prime minister at the time of this massacre, but did not do anything about it except apologize for it,” the Brotherhood statement said.
The statement added that the revolution would not have succeeded had the Brotherhood not defended Tahrir and its demonstrators during that battle.
Morsy has described himself as a revolutionary but has had limited success in garnering the support of centrist candidates, even though the major candidates who lost in the first round have already denounced Shafiq's presidential bid.