Egypt's government nearing end of the road, says ex-PM

Thu Feb 7, 2013 12:06pm EST
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By Amena Bakr

ABU DHABI (Reuters) - To his critics, Ahmed Shafik is a typical autocrat consigned to history's dustbin by the Arab Spring - a military man turned politician who ended his career amid corruption allegations and fled to the Gulf.

To his friends - and he has powerful ones in the oil-rich Arabian peninsula - the former air force pilot and prime minister is an authentic voice of opposition to the civilian politician who beat him narrowly in a presidential run-off vote.

Whatever the truth, Shafik is confident that with Egypt in turmoil seven months into its experiment with Islamist rule, its often-reviled political old guard will eventually be seen by Egyptians, and by Washington, in a more kindly light.

"Egyptians reject the current regime," said the silver-haired 71-year-old, the last prime minister of Hosni Mubarak, the president who was ousted in 2011 after three decades in power.

"They do not reject the regime from nothing, they reject it as a result of the actions that have taken place over the last seven months ... It has not been a success."


"There's is a new system for terrorizing the Egyptian people and this is an indication of anxiety within the upper levels of the regime and of the nearing of the end of the road."

He spoke to Reuters in a gated luxury hotel-managed villa in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, where he fled with his daughters and grandchildren in June 2012, two days after his opponent, Mohamed Mursi, was declared president.   Continued...

Egypt's former prime minister Ahmed Shafik speaks during an interview with Reuters at his residence in Abu Dhabi February 6, 2013. REUTERS/Jumana El Heloueh