Former Egyptian prime minister and ex-presidential hopeful Ahmed Shafiq told Reuters on Wednesday that he intends to run for president in the country's upcoming presidential elections, which are scheduled for next year.
Shafiq told Reuters in a telephone statement from the United Arab Emirates, where he currently resides, that he would return to Egypt in the "coming days."
The elections are scheduled to take place in March or April 2018, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said earlier this month.
El-Sisi, who was elected president by a landslide in 2014, has not confirmed whether he would run for a second term. He did say, however, that he respects the country's constitutional limit of two four-year terms on the presidency.
Shafiq is the second person to announce their intention to run for president in 2018, after human rights lawyer and former 2012 presidential candidate Khaled Ali announced earlier this month that he also intends to run for president.
The 76-year-old Shafiq served as aviation minister under former president Hosni Mubarak and briefly as prime minister during the 2011 18-day uprising against Mubarak before he was replaced in February 2012.
Shafiq narrowly lost the 2012 presidential elections to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi, who held the office for one year before he was ousted following nationwide protests against his rule.
Shortly after the election, Shafiq claimed that the vote was rigged and travelled to the UAE, citing "safety concerns."
While in the UAE, Shafiq was tried in absentia on a number of corruption charges, but was either acquitted or had cases against him dropped.
In late 2016, a travel ban against him was lifted and he was removed from arrival watch lists, according to his lawyer.