Egypt's foreign minister says no restrictions on presidential hopeful

Former Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Shafiq who has said he will challenge President Abdel Fattah al Sisi in elections next yearMore

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.

Former Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Shafiq arrived in Cairo from Emirates on a private plane Staurday evening, where he was received by members of his family, sources at Egypt's worldwide airport confirmed to Ahram Online. Some of Shafiq's relatives were allowed to receive him at the airport. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media. It wasn't clear where he would head afterward.

In statements to Al-Masry Al-Youm, lawyer Dina Hussain said that Shafiq tasked her to take legal procedures against the channel for broadcasting the video. The UAE denied Shafiq's claims.

Shafiq was a senior commander in the Egyptian Air Force and later served as Prime Minister of Egypt. He announced last week from the UAE that he would run in Egypt's 2018 presidential election.

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 has since dodged several corruption allegations.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is widely expected to run for a second term but has yet to announce it.

Shafiq's candidacy could see him stand against Sisi, who has yet to officially declare his candidacy but looks all but certain to run in and dominate the election next year.

A prominent rights lawyer, Khaled Ali, has also announced he will run in 2018 but has alleged harassment by the authorities. He won a landslide victory in 2014 elections which global observers said fell short of standards for a free election.

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