Former Egyptian Prime Minister, Ahmed Shafiq , announced yesterday that he is no longer considering running for president in the upcoming elections, which are expected to be held next May.
"I have decided following my return to my beloved home country to re-assess the general situation regarding what I announced during my stay in the UAE," Shafiq said in a statement on Twitter
"My absence of more than five years perhaps distanced me from being able to very closely follow what is going on in our nation in terms of developments and achievements despite the difficulty of the conditions," the statement read.
I have seen that I will not be the ideal person to lead the state's affairs during the coming period. Thus I have decided not to run in the upcoming 2018 presidential elections
In late November, Shafiq announced from the UAE, where he had been in exile since 2012, that he intends to run in the upcoming presidential elections. He returned to Egypt from the United Arab Emirates in December after announcing his intention to run, setting off a firestorm of criticism from state-aligned media and speculation that he was being held by authorities in a Cairo hotel.
The ex-air force commander and former aviation minister was seen as the most serious potential challenger to the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in an election due in May. Sisi is yet to officially announce his candidacy.
Shafiq , 76, was reported to have received an offer from the Egyptian government, brokered by Abu Dhabi, to return to Egypt without being convicted of any charges. Shafiq denied the allegations.
The founder of the Egyptian Patriotic Movement party narrowly lost a presidential election to the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi in 2012 before fleeing for the UAE, where he has lived since.