Former PM Ahmed Shafik (ِAhram online)
Former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq announced on Sunday that he does not intend to run in the upcoming presidential elections, which are expected to be held in the spring of 2018.
In a statement on his official Twitter account, Shafiq said "given the facts, I see that I would not be the best person to lead state affairs in the coming period, therefore I have decided not to run in the 2018 presidential elections."
In late November, Shafiq said in a statement issued from the UAE, where he resided from 2012 to 2017, that he intends to run in the upcoming presidential elections.
However, shortly following his return to Egypt in early December, the 76-year-old former air force general stated that he would make a decision whether he should run for president after assessing the situation on the ground.
"I have decided following my return to my beloved home country to re-assess the general situation regarding what I announced during my stay in UAE, considering that my absence for more than five years may have distanced me from closely following the developments and achievements that have been reached despite the difficult circumstances caused by violence and terrorist acts," Shafiq said in Sunday's announcement.
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.
He is the founder of the Patriotic Movement Party.
Shafiq narrowly lost the June 2012 presidential elections 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" under Brotherhood rule.