Former Egyptian PM Shafiq Returns To Cairo, Plans Presidential Campaign

Former Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Shafiq addressing a press conference in Cairo. AFP file

Earlier on Saturday, Dina Adly, the lawyer of the former Egyptian prime minister, said in a post on her Facebook page that Shafiq was deported today from the UAE to Egypt and all communication with the 2012 presidential candidate has ceased.

In an announcement he made from the United Arab Emirates, Shafik said on Wednesday that he would run for president in the elections set to take place in April 2018.

"He confirmed that his health was good and that he was not subjected to any investigations", she added, without mentioning the name of hotel where she met Shafik.

In the most recent statement, she detailed the circumstances that preceded his arrival to Cairo.

UAE authorities had arrested and deported him to Cairo after he claimed that authorities there banned him from returning to Egypt to context next year's presidential election.

But critics say he has jailed hundreds of dissidents and eroded freedoms gained after the 2011 uprising that ousted former leader Hosni Mubarak.

A Reuters witness at the airport said Egyptian authorities escorted Shafik in a motorcade that was waiting for him outside the airport.

Shafik narrowly lost to Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt's 2012 election before fleeing overseas.




Earlier this year, he brushed off widespread public criticism and ratified an agreement that cedes sovereignty over two uninhabited Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is widely expected to run for a second term but has yet to announce it.

A prominent military commander, he was appointed commander of the air force in 1996 and later minister of aviation in 2002. They provided no evidence. He has also been accused of "destabilizing" Egypt.

"We have no information about a deportation order", the judicial source said.

"I don't think that he would take such a big political risk of insulting his hosts of over five years, who effectively gave him refuge while he was facing criminal charges in Egypt".

Sisi has yet to announce his own intentions for the election, saying he would follow the will of the people after presenting his achievements in the next two months.

But his government is fighting a stubborn Islamist militant insurgency in the Sinai region and has also enacted painful austerity reforms over the past year to revive the economy but that critics say have dented his popularity.

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