Former Egyptian PM Ahmed Shafiq left Emirates to Cairo

Former Egyptian PM Ahmed Shafiq left Emirates to Cairo

Former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, who last week announced plans to run for the presidency, was deported from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday, his family said, and arrived in Cairo hours later.

He announced last week from the UAE that he would run in Egypt's 2018 presidential election. He has since been found innocent of all corruption allegations, clearing the way for his return home.

A relative of Shafiq's told AFP that "we have no information about him".

UAE news agency WAM said Shafik left the Emirates, an ally of Sisi's government, for Egypt without giving any details on why or how he departed. He ran in Egypt's first free elections in 2012 and lost by a narrow margin to the Islamist Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood before fleeing the country to escape a litany of criminal charges that could have landed him in prison.

Amira Ahmed Shafik said in a voice recording sent to Bloomberg that her father was denied access to his lawyer and that they planned to sue the Egyptian authorities over his treatment.

"I call on the UAE leaders to order the lifting of any restrictions on my ability to travel".

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

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.

Lawyer Adly wrote that Shafiq wanted to leave the UAE for France, but was later told he would be taken to Egypt instead.

Charges were laid down against him, but he was acquitted of some, while the others were dropped.

Sissi, a former army chief, was elected president in 2014, a year after leading the military's ouster of Morsi from power. "I think he probably was kept, but now he is going to pay a higher price", she added.

Shafik, a former air force commander and government minister, was seen as the strongest potential opponent of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is expected to run for a second term next year.

"I see no reason why he should not run".

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. Khaled Ali, a prominent Egyptian rights lawyer, has also voiced his intent to contest the 2018 elections.



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