Fact Sheet: Egyptian Presidential Candidates
Ahmed Shafik was a career fighter pilot in the Egyptian Air Force who later served as Commander of the Air Force from 1996 to 2002. After leaving the service, Shafik served in President Hosni Mubarak's government as Minister of Civil Aviation from 2002 to 2011.
On January 29, 2011, a few days after the start of the Tahrir Square Revolution, Mubarak appointed Shafik as Prime Minister of Egypt, though he remained in the post for only a month, resigning in March 2011 amid protests that he was a Mubarak administration figurehead unable to lead the country post-revolution. He was the last person to serve in the head of state role under Mubarak.
In November 2011, Shafik announced his candidacy for the Egyptian presidential elections, though he was initially disqualified in the wake of the ratification of the Corruption of Political Life Law which banned Mubarak-era prime ministers from nomination. He immediately appealed the decision and on April 25 the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) accepted his appeal and placed him back in the race.
Following the elections on May 23 and 24, Shafik emerged as one of the top two vote getters, receiving 23.7%, and will therefore be included in the final run-off election set for mid-June. He will face Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsy.
The following is a sampling of his comments:
On Changing the Government in Egypt
- "The application of Sharia (Islamic law) is but a solid constitutional must. Sharia is the main source of legislation; the president will not have the option of not applying it."
- "I consider myself a representative of a civil state with a collective Egyptian identity that groups all components of Egyptian culture and represents a society where everybody can work without one class monopolizing another, without exclusion."
- "The political parties are still very week. Thus it is impossible to rely upon a parliamentary system. There has to be at least two periods under the presidential system through which awareness could be raised and then a referendum could be held to know whether people want to change the system. If there is a mixed system, it should be presidential-parliamentary system."
- "Our concern now ... is security, to bring security back to the Egyptian citizen."
(Washington Times, February 2011)
- "We will turn all of the citizens' demands into a reality sooner than they expect."
(El Mehwar, February 2011)
On Sentencing of former President Hosni Mubarak
- "Egypt's legal system meted out justice and proved that no one in Egypt is above the law. Every president who is elected must learn a historical lesson from this ruling."
(Israel HaYom, June 2012)
On Relations with Israel
- "Some call for calling off the Camp David Accord and this is insane … It’s impossible to do that because we signed an accord the whole world witnessed."