Former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq said on Sunday that he is “free and not kidnapped.” In a phone call on Dream TV, Shafiq added that he previously announced his intention, “based on the information available to him”, to run for Egypt’s 2018 presidential election.
“Today, I’m in the country and I need to reconsider the issue [running for election], and to go down in the street to talk to people,” said Shafiq. He added that he was welcomed at Cairo International Airport, and is now staying at a hotel close to his house in the Fifth Settlement district of Cairo.
Media websites reported that the former Egyptian prime minister was arrested by Emirati authorities from his house in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and deported to Egypt on a private plane. Media reports further added that Shafiq has been detained since his arrival to Cairo.
Last week, Shafiq announced, from the UAE, his intention to run for Egypt’s 2018 presidential election. In a televised speech, Shafiq said that he is barred from travelling outside the UAE for no clear reason.
Shafiq’s lawyer Dina Adly said on her Facebook account that she met Shafiq at a hotel in New Cairo on Sunday. Adly added that the former presidential candidate confirmed his safety and that he was under no investigation or detainment.
Adly mentioned that UAE authorities told Shafiq that he had to leave and he was no longer welcome, saying he is a ‘persona non grata’.
Shafiq’s family said earlier that they know nothing about him since he was escorted from his home by the UAE authorities on Saturday.
Shafiq was the last prime minister under Mubarak’s regime. Following the revolution of 2011, he became actively involved in politics.
He was the head of the Egyptian Patriotic Movement and came second in the first presidential election after the revolution. He has lost the presidential race to Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, gaining 48.27% of the votes, versus 51.73% for Morsi.
An arrest warrant was issued for Shafiq in the aftermath of the 2012 presidential election, which made Shafiq leave Egypt to the UAE.