Former Prime Minister and presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Former Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, who returned to Egypt on Saturday after a five-year absence, said on Sunday that being in the country allows him to assess whether he should run in Egypt's 2018 presidential election
Shafiq made the comment in a phone call with TV presenter Wael El-Ebrashy on the privately owned Dream channel, adding that he has enjoyed full freedom of movement since arriving in Cairo.
Shafiq flew to Cairo from the United Arab Emirates by private jet on Saturday evening. He was met at the airport by members of his family and checked into a hotel in Cairo, pending the completion of work on his private residence in the city.
Earlier on Saturday evening, Wamnews, the UAE's official news agency, reported that Shafiq's family is still resident in the Emirates and being cared for by the state.
In a statement issued from the UAE on Wednesday, Shafiq said that he plans to run in the upcoming presidential election in Egypt, which is expected to be held in the spring of 2018.
The 76-year-old Shafiq served as aviation minister under former president Hosni Mubarak and briefly as prime minister during the 2011 uprising, before he was replaced in February 2012.
Shafiq narrowly lost the June 2012 presidential election to the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi, who held the post for one year before being ousted in July 2013 following nationwide protests against his rule.
Shortly after the 2012 election, Shafiq claimed that the vote was rigged and travelled to the UAE, citing "concerns for his own safety."
While in the UAE, Shafiq was tried in absentia on a number of corruption charges, but was either acquitted or had charges against him dropped.