Shafiq attacks amendment barring him from presidential race

Presidential hopeful and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq attacked on Saturday the amendment to the political rights law which would prevent high-ranking former regime officials from running for president until the tenth anniversary of Mubarak's ouster. Parliament approved the amendment on Thursday.

He described the amendment as "an attempt to impose trusteeship over Egyptians, an overstep of the supposed balance of powers, and a hijacking of the democratic process in favor of certain figures."  

Shafiq called the Islamist-backed Friday protest in Tahrir Square that rejected the presidential candidacy of former regime figures "an attempt to divide and impose guardianship on Egyptians."

He stressed that he "will stay in the presidential race until the end" and that he "abides by the decisions of the Presidential Elections Commission, seeks the votes of all Egyptians and respects everyone."

Shafiq expressed great confidence in the awareness of the people and their ability to choose a president who can achieve their aspirations and ambitions.

In response to accusations that he favored certain companies for construction contracts during his tenure as civil aviation minister under Mubarak, Shafiq said, "I challenge anyone to prove that the work of Terminal 3 at Cairo airport was assigned by direct order [to specific companies]."

"The establishment of this massive project was carried out with full transparency through a competitive tender in which several companies and international alliances participated. [The tender] was subject to dual technical and legal supervision according to Egyptian laws and the rules of the World Bank, which funded the construction process."    

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