CAIRO: The Rassd News Network (R.N.N) published Wednesday an alleged recording of a call of former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, in which he said that the upcoming presidential elections could be manipulated.
In the video, Shafiq allegedly told an unidentified person he would not run for president, and that he expects elections would be manipulated for Defense Minister Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s benefit.
“[The] armed forces can’t back a specific candidate, it doesn’t make sense,” Shafiq’s voice is heard saying, referencing recent statements by Sisi during a cultural seminar of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces in January in which he urged the people and army to mandate him to run for president.
Shafiq appears to say that his decision to withdraw from elections is not because he supports Sisi, but because he doubts that it would be a “fair fight” as he described.
Shafiq did not deny the content of the call in a statement early Thursday posted on his official Facebook page. He said he rejected the intervention of the army in political life, and said it was possible to fabricate election results “like what we got used to in previous elections,” but he nonetheless expressed his support Sisi.
Shafiq ran in the 2012 presidential race in 2012, and lost to Mohamed Morsi after receiving 48.3 percent of all votes.
Minister of Defense Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who was appointed by Morsi in 2012, and then announced his ouster in July 2013, has not yet declared a candidacy. He has, however, made a number of statements alluding to following the people’s will, and asking for their mandate. A number of campaigns have emerged since July 2013 urging him to run, and with the recent passage of the presidential elections law, many expect him to make an announcement soon about a possible candidacy.