Egyptian rivals trade barbs before vote

June 11, 2012 at 12:48 PM

CAIRO, June 11 (UPI) -- The last prime minister in Egypt to serve in the Mubarak administration said his opponents were playing dirty as a runoff election approaches.

Egyptians head begin vote next weekend in a second round of balloting to pick their next president. Ahmed Shafiq, a former air force general, squares off against Mohammed Morsi, the candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party.

Shafiq was disqualified briefly under Egyptian legislation barring former regime officials from seeking office. He was reinstated on appeal, stating he served only briefly before the government of former Hosni Mubarak collapsed in early 2011.

Mubarak was sentenced recently to life in prison for his role in the deaths of civilian protesters during the revolution. The health of the 84-year-old former president is said to be in decline.

Shafiq said Muslim Brotherhood leaders were using "dirty methods" during the campaign, reports the Egyptian Independent. An FJP leader last week filed a complaint with the public prosecutor in Cairo against Shafiq, saying he was issuing defamatory remarks against Muslim Brotherhood leaders.

Shafiq defended his record by emphasizing he was an independent candidate "backed by no party of group."

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