Thousands of Egyptians gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square Tuesday night to rally against presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq, whom many see as a sign of deposed president Hosni Mubarak’s regime.
The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, whose candidate Mohammed Morsi is Shafiq’s challenger in this month’s runoff election, bussed in thousands of protesters to the square. Several presidential candidates eliminated in an earlier round of voting joined the demonstrations as well, according to Ahram Online.
Many in Egypt fear a Shafiq victory will signal the return of the pre-revolution ruling elite. Protesters in Tahrir called for application of the Political Disenfranchisement Law that would prohibit former regime apparatchiks from participating in presidential politics.
“It is unacceptable after a revolution that has brought its share of martyrs to vote Shafiq into office,” one man at the rally told Ahram.
According to a live blog and twitter messages from participants, demonstrators at one point tried to climb a Shafiq billboard to tear it down. At a similar rally earlier in the week, they managed to tear down Shafiq advertising.
The rally remained mostly peaceful however.
Demonstrators also called for Mubarak to be put to death after he was given a sentence of life in prison for allowing police to fire on protesters during marches in Cairo a year earlier. Cleared on corruption charges, the prosecution has appealed the verdict, hoping to get a new sentence as well.
Eliminated presidential candidates Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh and Hamdeen Sabahi led chants from the back of a pickup, calling out, “We are united against Shafiq and the [Mubarak and others] verdict.”
The two later reportedly left the protest due to exhaustion.
Ahly soccer fans were reported gathering on Qasr Al-Nile bridge and chanting, “Shafiq, you shameful man, the revolution continues.”