Former Egyptian presidential candidate and politician Ahmed Shafiq won uncontested elections on Saturday to become head of the Egyptian National Movement Party, despite not being in Egypt since June 2012.
Shafiq, a former prime minister under Hosni Mubarak, has been in the UAE since 2012 when he lost the final round of the presidential elections to Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted in 2013. He has cited “security reasons” for his residence in the Gulf state.
On Saturday Shafiq spoke to party members via video link, thanking members for their votes.
Shafiq founded the party in 2013. He has regularly made media statements to the effect that he would soon return to Egypt, but has yet to do so. He did not give a return date during his Saturday statement.
In December 2013, Shafiq was acquitted of embezzling public funds in the Pilots' Association for Land Development, which he headed in 1992.
He was accused by the general prosecution of having seized 40,000 square metres of land belonging to fishing farms and illegally allocating them to the association, before reselling them to Mubarak's sons at lower than market prices.
Shafiq, a former air force commander, was the civil aviation minister during Mubarak's era and was appointed prime minister during the 18-day uprising that brought down Hosni Mubarak.