DHAKA: A crowd of several thousand people has gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to protest against Ahmed Shafiq, Hosni Mubarak’s final prime minister and one of the two candidates in a presidential runoff election later this month.
The protesters want Shafiq expelled from the election, scheduled for June 16 and 17.
He is running against Mohammed Morsi, the Brotherhood’s candidate, after the two finished second and first, respectively, in the first round of balloting last month.
Egypt’s supreme court is due to rule next week on the so-called ‘political isolation’ law, which bars former high-ranking regime officials from running for public office.
The law was approved by parliament earlier this year. If it is upheld by the court, Shafiq would be barred from the runoff.
The protesters are also angry about verdicts handed down last week in the trial of Mubarak, his sons, and his aides, reports Al Jazeera.
A Cairo court sentenced the former president to life in prison for complicity to murder. Habib al-Adly, his former interior minister, was also convicted.
But Mubarak’s two sons were acquitted of corruption charges, and the court acquitted six of Adly’s senior aides, including the former heads of Cairo security and the notorious Central Security Forces, on murder charges.
Protesters in the square have been chanting slogans against the courts, including "the judiciary must be cleansed.
One group of demonstrators held a mock trial for the former president, which ended with a verdict calling for his execution.
A group of women tried to organise a rally against sexual harassment - dozens of women have been harassed and assaulted in the square this week - but it ended when a mob of men attacked them.
Some of the women took shelter in buildings around the square; others managed to flee in taxis.
BDST: 1651 HRS, JUN 9, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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