ABU DHABI - To his critics, Ahmed Shafik is a typical autocrat consigned to history's dustbin by the Arab Spring - a military man turned politician who ended his career amid corruption allegations and fled to the Gulf.
To his friends - and he has powerful ones in the oil-rich Arabian peninsula - the former air force pilot and prime minister is an authentic voice of opposition to the civilian politician who beat him narrowly in a presidential run-off vote.Whatever the truth, Shafik is confident that with Egypt in turmoil seven months into its experiment with Islamist rule, its often-reviled political old guard will eventually be seen by Egyptians, and by Washington, in a more kindly light.
"Egyptians reject the current regime," said the silver-haired 71-year-old, the last prime minister of Hosni Mubarak, the president who was ousted in 2011 after three decades in power.
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