Egypt presidential hopeful returns home

Posted December 04, 2017

Egypt's former Prime Minister and presidential potentate Ahmed Shafiq is facing charges of violating building regulations and will be investigated on the matter within the coming hours, state-run Akhbar Al-Youm indicated on Sunday.

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.

She said Shafik had been prevented from leaving the UAE in previous days but had then received assurances that he could travel freely.

Shafiq, 76, briefly served as prime minister under autocratic President Hosni Mubarak, who stepped down in early 2011 following 18 days of popular demonstrations against his regime.

Supporters see Sisi, who is allied with UAE and Saudi Arabia, as key for Egypt's stability.

Details about what happened to Shafiq were unclear on Sunday. It said his family had remained behind in the Emirates. They deported him in a private plane. "The authorities in UAE have arrested Shafiq at his house in order to deport him to Egypt", Adly said.

Shafik's daughter May Shafik, told Reuters that authorities had come for him at his home and sent him to Cairo. "If he was deported he should have been able to go home by now, not just disappear".

Adly also said in her post that all lines of communication with Shafik had been shut down since Friday.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi is certain to run in next year’s election although he has not formally announced his candidacy yet
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi is certain to run in next year’s election although he has not formally announced his candidacy yet

UAE authorities confirmed he left the Emirates without giving any details about why.

Upon landing in the Egyptian capital, Shafik quickly left to an unknown destination, an airport official said.

"We did not arrest him and we did not receive any requests from the prosecution to arrest him or bring him back".

The UAE has denied preventing Shafiq's departure from the country.

After losing the closely contested 2012 election to Morsi, Shafik fled to the UAE.

On Friday, Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said he sees no legal restrictions that could prevent Shafik from running in next year's elections against Sisi.

A prominent military commander, he was appointed commander of the air force in 1996 and later minister of aviation in 2002. He has also been accused of "destabilizing" Egypt. "We presented him with every facility and generous hospitality despite our severe reservations about some of his positions", Gargash said.

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