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Defeated presidential candidate to form political party: Shafiq campaign

Ahmed Shafiq campaign says vanquished candidate will found new political party following Umrah pilgrimage, despite earlier denials from Shafiq himself

Zeinab El Gundy , Tuesday 26 Jun 2012
Ahmed Shafiq
Ahmed Shafiq (Photo:AP)
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The electoral campaign of vanquished presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq announced Tuesday that the last Mubarak-era premier planned to establish a new Egyptian political party as soon as he returned from making the Umrah pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

Shafiq departed Egypt early Tuesday morning en route to Saudi Arabia via the UAE, according to a press release issued by his presidential campaign. Shafiq, who served as ousted president Hosni Mubarak's prime minister during last year's Tahrir Square uprising, is expected to return to Cairo within days.

Before departing the country, Shafiq denied having plans to establish a political party, saying that, given the percentage of votes he secured in Egypt's just-concluded presidential runoff (48 per cent), such a party would only serve to further polarise the Egyptian public.

Members of the defeated presidential contender's campaign, however, said otherwise.

"Shafiq is going to visit the Holy Land in Saudi Arabia along with two of his daughters after paying a personal visit to Abu Dhabi," read a statement issued by his campaign on Tuesday.

The statement failed to provide details about the would-be party's political platform, stating merely that it would "represent millions of Egyptian families seeking a modern, moderate civilian state."

Shafiq narrowly lost a hotly-contested 16/17 June presidential runoff to Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi, who was officially declared Egypt's first post-Mubarak president-elect on Sunday.

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