Cairo

Ahead of his crucial presidential run- off against Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Morsi next month, Egypts former premier Ahmed Shafiq has promised a ” new era” to his countrymen as he paid rich tributes to the ” glorious revo

lution” that toppled Hosni Mubarak. ” Your revolution has been hijacked and I am committed to bringing ( it) back,” 70- year- old Shafiq said, referring to youth groups that engineered the 2011 uprising that ousted Mubarak. Thanking Egyptians who ” answered his call” and voted for him, Shafiq said the elections would not have happened without the glorious revolution and those who made sacrifices and died for it.

There would be ” no turning back”, said Shafiq, the former prime minister of the toppled leader. ” I promise all Egyptians we will start a new era. There will be no return. We do not want to reproduce the old regime.

The past is dead,” he told journalists as he tried to shed his image as an antirevolution candidate.

” We have had a glorious revolution. I pay tribute to this glorious revolution and pledge to be faithful to its call for justice and freedom.” Shafiq dedicated a part of his address to Egypts young people, specifically ” the April 6 Youth Movement and the Ultras ( hardcore football fans whoalt39ve had a prominent presence in protests over the past year and a half), who want decent youth centers.” He said, ” The revolution has been stolen out of your hands. I promise to return to you its fruits.”

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