Egypt presidential hopeful arrives in Cairo

Egypt presidential hopeful arrives in Cairo

Egypt presidential hopeful arrives in Cairo

A lawyer for former Egyptian premier and presidential hopeful Ahmed Shafiq on Sunday demanded access to him after he was reportedly deported from the United Arab Emirates to his homeland.

His lawyer Dina Adly Hussein told Asharq Al-Awsat that her client departed the United Arab Emirates to Egypt early in the morning on Saturday, while his family, including his daughter remained in Abu Dhabi. "He confirmed that his health was good and that he was not subjected to any investigations", she wrote.

An official source later confirmed her statement.

She said all lines of communication with him have been cut.

Shafiq announced last week that he plans to compete for the post of president in his homeland at next year's election and was preparing to return to Cairo in the coming days.

Shafik was once considered close to former President Hosni Mubarak.

A Reuters witness at the airport said Egyptian authorities escorted Shafik in a motorcade that was waiting for him outside the airport.

Shafik came in second to deposed President Mohammed Morsi in the 2012 presidential elections with over 12 million votes (49 percent of the tally).

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Earlier this year, he brushed off widespread public criticism and ratified an agreement that cedes sovereignty over two uninhabited Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

On Friday, Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said he sees no legal restrictions that could prevent Shafik from running in next year's elections against Sisi.

State-owned newspapers published a story calling Shafiq calling "the fleeing air marshal" and said his lawyer had made deals with outlets sympathetic to the banned Muslim Brotherhood to help with Shafiq's campaign. He has also been accused of "destabilizing" Egypt.

It is the chief prosecutor's prerogative to investigate the complaint and, depending on his decision, refer Shafiq to trial. He was acquitted, or had charges dropped, in several cases in the past, including for corruption.

"We have no information about a deportation order", the judicial source said.

Shafik is not the only person planning to challenge Sisi in the presidential election.

But his government is fighting a stubborn Islamist militant insurgency in the Sinai region and has also enacted painful austerity reforms over the a year ago to revive the economy but that critics say have dented his popularity.

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