News Worms
News Worms

Egypt presidential hopeful arrives in Cairo

Egypt presidential hopeful arrives in Cairo

Former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq has returned to his home country after five years of self-exile in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) following his announcement that he plans to run for president next year.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is widely expected to run for a second term but has yet to announce it. His family said earlier they feared he had been "kidnapped".

Witnesses said he left the airport in a Mercedes but it was unclear where he was headed or who was driving the vehicle.

Former Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Shafiq came on television late Sunday night to announce he is still considering his presidential bid, his first appearance since arriving in Cairo on Saturday.

Sisi is an ally of UAE and Saudi Arabia and his supporters say he is key to Egypt's stability.

She explained that these "officials" informed him that he must leave the UAE without his daughters while they told his daughters that they are welcome to stay in the UAE.

The lawyer for an Egyptian presidential hopeful living in the United Arab Emirates says he has been arrested at his home and will be deported to Egypt.

She said all lines of communication with him have been cut.

A Gulf source familiar with the matter said earlier: "Shafik has publicly asked to go to Egypt and his wish will be met".

The family and lawyer said they planned to file complaints with the prosecutor's office around Shafiq's whereabouts.

"We have no information about a deportation order", the judicial source said. But an Egyptian judicial source said Shafik was not wanted in any criminal cases at the moment, but he had several cases, including for corruption, against him in the past that either ended in acquittal or were dropped.

His lawyer, Dina Adly, wrote on her Facebook page that she had been able to see him at a Cairo hotel and said he was not subject to any investigations. She did not specify who gave the assurances.

Sahar Aziz, an associate professor of Law at Texas A&M University, said it was likely that there was some truth to Shafik's claim that he was barred from leaving the UAE.

The UAE's Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash later responded in a series of tweets, saying there was "no obstacle" to Shafik's departure from the UAE.

Shafik was once considered close to former President Hosni Mubarak.

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 a year ago to revive the economy but that critics say have dented his popularity.


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