May 26 - Egyptian presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq says he will not turn back the clock to the Mubarak era if he wins power. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Mulling over election results in Cairo. It looks like Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Mursi will face off against former air force chief Ahmed Shafiq, the likely winners of the first round of voting. At a news conference Saturday Shafiq, the last prime minister of the Mubarak regime, says the past should not be held against him. (SOUNDBITE)(Arabic) THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, AHMED SHAFIQ, SAYING: "We are going to start a new era, there will be no turning back, what has gone has gone, what existed in the past will not return, we will not fight against each other but we will work together, there is no option to reproduce the old regime. Egypt has been changed and it is impossible that clock hands go anti-clockwise, there is no dispute between me and anybody and I'm stretching my hand to everybody to form a country for all." Some fear a victory for the 70-year-old Shafiq, would snuff out hopes of change. (SOUNDBITE)(Arabic) SHAFIQ, SAYING: "The revolution, which you triggered, has been kidnapped from you and I'm obliged To bring it's outcome back to your hands" The choice between Mursi and Shafiq, represent forces that have tussled for the past six decades. Others are willing to back the winner. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ELECTRICIAN, HISHAM SHAABAAN, SAYING: "Whichever one wins, we need to be moving in the right direction because whoever it is will not be able to govern us unless we help him. We are the ones who need to work to pick this country up. One man alone cannot fix the universe." The election marked a crucial step in a messy and often bloody transition to democracy, overseen by a military council that has pledged to hand power to a new president by July 1. Official results from the first round are not due until Tuesday Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters