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Egypt’s Ahmed Shafiq denies reports he intends return to politics

Ahmed Shafiq, former Egyptian prime minister under ousted president Hosni Mubarak and a former army lieutenant general, denied on Wednesday reports that he has decided to re-enter political life.

Khaled Al-Owamy, the spokesperson of the National Movement Party, which was founded by Shafiq in 2013, dismissed on Wednesday news reports that the party planned to name Shafiq as its honorary chairman.

Shafiq reasserted a statement he made in January that he has decided to withdraw from political life.

“I just hope the National Movement Party performs well in the coming period and that it will only serve the higher interests of Egypt,” Shafiq said.

Shafiq, a former army air force officer, was named in 2002 as minister of civil aviation under then-president Mubarak. When Mubarak faced a popular uprising in January 2011, he named Shafiq as his prime minister.

After Mubarak was forced to leave office in February 2011, Shafiq was also pressured to step down in March.

In 2012, Shafiq ran in Egypt’s presidential election against Mohamed Morsi, receiving 48.3 percent of the vote against Morsi’s 51.7 percent.

After the 2012 election, Shafiq left Egypt for the United Arab Emirates. When Shafiq returned in December 2017, many expected that he would run for president against the incumbent Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. However, Shafiq announced on 7 January that he has decided to withdraw from political life and that he supports the re-election of President Sisi.

The National Movement Party will hold its general assembly on Friday to elect a new chairman. Raouf El-Sayed – a former army major general and the man who has been in charge of the party’s affairs since Shafiq’s departure – is the only person who registered to run for chairman. The door for registration closed on Tuesday.

Source: Ahram Online

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