Alaa Al Aswany: Shafiq is involved in corruption cases

Alaa Al Aswany, a best-selling Egyptian author and columnist, has said he has documents that show that presidential candidate and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq was involved in corruption cases while in office.

Aswany, a novelist well known for his criticism of Egypt's military rulers, wrote on Twitter Saturday “I call on Shafiq for an open debate to confront him with charges of corruption.”

He added that he has papers documenting 35 cases of corruption against Shafiq, the last prime minister to serve under ousted leader Hosni Mubarak and a former air force commander, which were all hidden by the military rulers.

The celebrated novelist asked: “Have you heard of a president charged with all these crimes?”

Essam al-Erian, deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, told reporters on Friday that Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy had won 25.3 percent of the vote, followed by Shafiq with 24 percent, in the first round of Egypt's presidential elections, held Wednesday and Thursday.

In third place was Nasserist candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi, who garnered 22 percent of the vote, according to figures collated by Brotherhood observers at polling stations across the country.

Aswany is a vocal critic of the Mubarak regime. Last year he was a guest on a TV show alongside Shafiq when the latter was prime minster.

On the show, Aswany criticized Shafiq and called him to resign. Shafiq was dismissed from the position soon afterward.

On Friday, Aswany called for the formation of a presidential team to support Morsy against what he called “the return of Mubarak to the presidency.”

The Brotherhood is reaching out to rivals in an attempt to rally support around its candidate in the runoff against Shafiq. The group has warned that Shafiq is a threat to Egypt's revolution.

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