Opposition figure Ayman Nour to leave Beirut after Egypt refuses to renew passport
Ahram Online, , Wednesday 8 Jul 2015

Egyptian opposition figure Ayman Nour has announced that he is leaving Beirut after two years, following Egypt's refusal to renew his passport.

"I have decided to leave for Turkey then [to] Europe," Nour said via Twitter on Tuesday.

Nour had filed a case at the State Council's administrative court against the Egyptian ambassadors in Turkey and Lebanon, as well as the interior minister and the prime minister, calling on them to cancel the decision not to renew his passport, according to Al-Ahram Arabic news website.

Nour, who founded the Ghad Al-Thawra party, said the authorities told him they did not renew his passport because he was wanted for security reasons in Egypt, Al-Ahram reported.

The case was postponed on 1 July to a 25 August hearing.

Nour had submitted his request to renew the passport on 15 April at the Egyptian embassy in Beirut and the authorities rejected it on 2 May.

Nour left Cairo in August 2013 after he received phone calls from "people who are close to the decision-makers in Egypt," informing him that the authorities were "fed up" with his opinions and positions, according to his statement.

Nour had called on Egyptian secular parties and movements to reach a "national democratic accord" to reach consensus without "polarisation" or "exclusion".

The call was rejected by most political movements and parties which considered it a veiled attempt for reconciliation with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Nour had been an opponent of the 30 June 2013 protests that eventually led to Morsi's ouster. Although he was a member of the National Salvation Front (NSF), an opposition coalition against Morsi, he was the only NSF member to engage in dialogue with the Islamist president.

Nour also showed readiness in February 2012 to head Morsi's cabinet.

Nour founded the liberal party Ghad Al-Thawra Party in 2004 - as Al-Ghad Party.

In 2005, he ran for president against former autocrat Hosni Mubarak in Egypt's first multi-candidate-presidential contest.

Shortly after he lost to Mubarak, Nour was convicted on charges of forging election-qualification petitions and sentenced to five years in prison.

Critics of Mubarak considered the charges and verdict as retaliation by the regime against Nour for daring to challenge the former strongman in elections.

Nour spent three and a half years in prison before Mubarak pardoned him for medical reasons in early 2009.

In 2012, after the 25 January revolution, Nourattempted to run for president but failed to qualify.