Shafiq campaign criticizes Reuters, denies using NDP headquarters

Former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq's presidential campaign on Wednesday morning denied media reports that he was using former offices of the dissolved National Democratic Party.

Campaign officials said in a statement that a Reuters news agency report concerning Shafiq’s use of the headquarters was “completely false and reflects the lack of professionalism, accuracy and verification of the editor of the report, which was published by several Egyptian newspapers.”

Reuters later removed the reference to the NDP campaign headquarters in a subsequent version of the story.

The statement went on to say that local and foreign media outlets have the right to criticize or praise Shafiq, but have no right to circulate false and unfounded information, especially since no campaign officials were contacted for verification.

The statement said Shafiq's campaign headquarters at Villa No. 7 on Abdallah al-Kateb Street in Dokki are known and visited by journalists and others throughout the day. The campaign has rented the villa for three months. The statement also said the campaign offices have no relationship of any kind with any of the NDP’s former headquarters.

“We lament that a reputed international agency known for its coverage of the Egyptian elections has become involved in promoting that which only media outlets with ideological calculations pursue,” said the statement. “We demand it set the record straight as we demand all newspapers and media outlets which quoted this false information correct it.”

In a report on Tuesday evening, Reuters said that at least two parties dominated by members of the dissolved NDP support Shafiq, who served as the last prime minister under former President Hosni Mubarak. The agency later corrected the story to say "some members from at least two parties," not the parties themselves. The corrected version also removed the reference to an anonymous member of the Freedom Party who claimed the campaign was using one of the former NDP headquarters without specifying the location.

Meanwhile, Shafiq's presidential campaign officials in Giza accused unidentified people and some members of the Muslim Brotherhood of tearing down their election posters and replacing them with those of Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy. The campaign made similar allegations regarding posters in the township of Kerdasa.

Mahdy Abul Suud, the campaign coordinator in Bartas village in the Awseem township in Giza, accused members from the Nour and Freedom and Justice parties of taking down Shafiq's campaign photos in the villages in Mansheyat al-Qanater.

Hassan Gaber, a member of the campaign in Mansheyat al-Qanater, condemned those who attack Shafiq, saying a lawsuit would be filed against those who attempt to tarnish his patriotic history.

Edited translation from MENA

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