File photo: Former Egyptian presidential runoff candidate Ahmed Shafiq (Photo: Reuters)
Ahmed Shafiq, runner-up in Egypt's presidential election, will launch a new political party on 24 September called the Egyptian Patriotic Movement.
The party started its registration procedures on Monday and says it is open to all Egyptians who wish to build a modern civil state.
"The Egyptian Patriotic Movement seeks to create a balanced community that accepts diversity, is open to the world, protects Egypt, aspires to peace, and believes Egypt is for everybody," Shafiq said via Twitter on Monday.
The founders include Saadeddin Ibrahim, famous political sociologist; Mohamed Abu-Hamid, former liberal MP; Wahid Hamed, writer and script writer; Mohamed Abul-Azayem, Sufi leader; Gamal El-Ghitani, writer and novelist; Abdul-Hady El-Asabgy, Sufi leader; Tarek Nour, media expert; Makram Mohamed Ahmed, former deputy of the journalists' syndicate.
Shafiq narrowly lost a hotly-contested presidential runoff to the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi in June.
The former Mubarak-era prime minister announced on 26 June that he would form a political party to "represent millions of Egyptian families seeking a modern, moderate civil state."
Shafiq left the country on 26 June for Saudi Arabia to perform the Umrah religious pilgrimage, eventually relocating to the United Arab Emirates, where he has since been, citing “security reasons” as his impetus to remain.
On 11 September, Egypt’s prosecutor-general asked the head of the National Cooperation Office to include Shafiq on Interpol’s most wanted list, after the latter was referred to a Cairo criminal court to face corruption charges.
Shafiq currently stands accused of presiding over the illegal sale of 40,000 acres of state land to the sons of deposed strongman Hosni Mubarak.
The Egyptian Patriotic Movement will be the newest party on the Egyptian political scene. Mohamed ElBaradei's Constitution Party was legally recognised as an official political party on Sunday.
* This article was amended on 17 September 2012 to include information on the corruption charges recently levelled against Ahmed Shafiq.