Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq talks during a press conference in Cairo, February 13, 2011
Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq talks during a press conference in Cairo, February 13, 2011

Egypt's Ahmed Shafiq was former president Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister before he lost power in last year's pro-democracy protests.

The former Air Force commander was appointed prime minister in hopes of appeasing the popular revolt.  But because of that connection to  Mubarak, he is viewed with some suspicion by activists involved in the 2011 movement and polarized voters.  

Shafiq graduated from the Egyptian Air Force Academy and later earned a doctorate.  He has a storied military history. His campaign said he shot down two Israeli planes during wars with the Jewish state in 1967 and early 1973.  

During his campaign, Shafiq presented himself as the candidate with both military and civilian experience, a combination he said that is key to Egypt's shift toward democracy.

He also served as Egypt's minister of aviation, during which time he oversaw the modernization of Egypt's airports and boosted the country's tourism industry. Still, he remains a polarizing figure.

Related report by VOA’s Jeff Seldin

Former PM Shafiq Making Strong Bid to Lead Egypt