UAE deports Egyptian presidential candidate

Ahmed Shafiq, a career air force officer who served as the last prime minister under ousted ruler Hosni Mubarak, flew to Cairo from the Emirates on Saturday, ending almost five years of exile in the Gulf Arab nation.

Meanwhile, lawyer Dina Adly who is Shafiq's legal representative, released on Sunday a statement on her Facebook page in which she asserted that she has no information on Shafiq's current location.

"He confirmed that his health was good and that he was not subjected to any investigations", she added, without mentioning the name of hotel where she met Shafik.

An official source at the interior ministry said: "We do not know anything about Shafiq".

She explained that these "officials" informed him that he must leave the UAE without his daughters while they told his daughters that they are welcome to stay in the UAE.

An aide said he was taken by officials from his home in the UAE, put on a private plane and told he would "go back to Cairo, because they can deport him only to his home country".

Last week, Shafiq declared from his residence in the UAE his intention to run in the upcoming presidential elections in Egypt.

Sissi, a former army chief, was elected president in 2014, a year after leading the military's ouster of Morsi from power.

Shafik narrowly lost to Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt's 2012 election before fleeing overseas.

Shafik, a former air force commander and government minister, was seen as the strongest potential opponent of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is expected to run for a second term next year.

The UAE denied Shafiq's claims.

Egyptian pro-government media and talk shows, which had immediately come out against Shafiq over his bid, criticized the former air force commander again on Sunday. But an Egyptian judicial source said Shafik was not wanted in any criminal cases at the moment, but he had several cases, including for corruption, against him in the past that either ended in acquittal or were dropped.

Shafik is not the only person planning to challenge Sisi in the presidential election.

His supporters dismiss criticism over rights abuses and say any measures are needed for security in the face of an extremist insurgency that has killed hundreds of police and soldiers in the last four years.