Egypt presidential hopeful arrives in Cairo

Fayez Nureldine

Former Egyptian premier and presidential hopeful Ahmed Shafiq has been detained for questioning upon arriving in Egypt from the United Arab Emirates, security sources have said.

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. She cited "media reports" that Shafiq has arrived in Egypt "and is residing in a hotel in Cairo".

Shafiq's lawyer Dina Adly said earlier on Saturday in an online statement that Shafiq was arrested at his home and was put on a private plane back to Cairo.

According to information by sources at Cairo's International Airport, when Shafiq's plane landed almost 50 family members and his loyalists met him at the airport.

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. "They said they will deport him to Egypt", May said.

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

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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.

Shafiq briefly served as head of the government after longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a 2011 uprising.

He ran in Egypt's first free elections in 2012 and lost to Islamist Mohammed Morsi before fleeing the country.

A prominent military commander, he was appointed commander of the air force in 1996 and later minister of aviation in 2002.

After the polls he was tried in absentia on corruption charges, but eventually acquitted.

An informed Egyptian source told Asharq Al-Awsat that Shafik received a deportation request from the UAE and that he was obligated to leave within two days.

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