Shafiq’s party says he will decide whether to run in presidential elections within days

Egypt’s former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq will within days declare his final decision on whether he will participate in next year’s presidential elections, Shafiq’s Egyptian National Movement Party said on Sunday.

The deputy head of the party Raouf al-Sayyed said that Shafiq is currently holding consultations with party leaders and public figures to evaluate his situation.

Sayyed met Shafiq late Saturday at one of the major hotels in Cairo’s Fifth Settlement district. He said that Shafiq is keen to support the party during to become more positive and interactive with the political scene.

He further stated that Shafiq is in good health, and assured that he, as a former government official, is receiving care from the Egyptian authorities.

Shafiq returned to Egypt earlier this month amid conflicting reports about the circumstances of his arrival. He was reportedly deported from the UAE after dismaying UAE authorities and declared his bid for president from there. He later said he was prevented from departing from the UAE.

In a phone-in with popular TV show al-Ashera Masa’an, the former premier denied the claims.

In a Reuters report last week, different sources said that Shafiq is not completely free, noting that plainclothes security personnel prevented Reuters reporters from approaching Shafiq.

Shafiq was a candidate in Egypt’s 2012 presidential elections, where he lost by a slim margin to the now-ousted President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

He was also a senior commander in the Egyptian Air Force and later served as former President Hosni Mubarak’s last Prime Minister during the 25 January Revolution of 2011.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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