He is considered the “felool” candidate by excellence. He was Mubarak’s close confidante and preferred successor, and he has been his last Prime Minister, for a month, when the now toppled President tried to stay in power, last year, during the uprising.
Shafiq was initially barred from running for president, due to a law against the officials who were in power under Mubarak, but he appealed and was allowed to take part in the elections.
He claims that he was always a voice of the opposition within Mr Mubarak’s regime, and that, when he was still Prime Minister, in February/ beginning of March 2011, he asked regional governors to name streets after dead revolutionary activists, and also froze the assets of key figures in the former regime. But he defended comments he made in 2010 praising Mubarak as a role model and father figure.
He had to resign after being Prime Minister for just a month, during and shortly after the uprising in 2011, after an argument on a TV show. The novelist Ala’a al-Aswany attacked him as a Mubarak loyalist: “If your son had been one of those who got run over by the police cars, you would not have remained silent like that.”
In an interview, he showed that he was on the side of the military: “I support an honorable, not [merely] a peaceful departure for The disarray faced by the country is the responsibility of the government.” He does not criticize the way thy handled the protests and does not mind the deaths of protesters, apparently, since he says: “Up until now, SCAF has achieved its mission peacefully. The people’s assembly and the Shura council were elected without the seas of blood some were suggesting. It is enough that we did not become a new Syria.”
As the former Aviation Minister who managed to oversee modernisation programmes at the state-owned EgyptAir and the country’s ramshackle airports, he is popular with businessmen.
He is also trusted by some of the members of the Coptic Christian minority, who like his Mubarak-inspired tough line on Islamists.
His campaign ad says “Egypt for everyone”.
His wife died in April but it did not affect his decision to run as a candidate.
He is born in 1941 and made a career in the army.