- On Sunday, Shafik withdrew from the presidential election
- He said he was "not the best person to manage the state of affairs"
- One of his lawyers accused the government of forcing him to drop out
- His party denied the claims
The party of Egypt’s former prime minister Ahmed Shafik has denied claims that the state pressured him to withdraw from this year’s presidential election.
On Sunday, Shafik, a former Air Force general, withdrew from the polls, saying he was “not the best person to manage the state affairs in the coming period”.
One of his lawyers, speaking to The New York Times, accused the government of forcing him to drop out of the presidential race, a claim denied by his party spokesman.
"Shafik was not subject to pressure and he does not accept this,” Khalid al-Awwami, a spokesman of the Egyptian Patriotic Movement, said on Monday.
“He has made his decision with complete conviction,” he said.
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Shafik, 76, who narrowly lost election in 2012 to former president Mohamed Morsi, was deported by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Egypt in December after a 5-year self-exile in the Gulf state.
He, however, appeared in a television show denying reports about his deportation.
Al-Awwami said that the former premier had been consulting with his party members over his candidacy since his return from the UAE.
“There was no single case filed against him and he was not threatened by facing any,” the spokesman said.
Shafik -- the last prime minister of Egypt’s Mubarak era -- had said earlier that he was planning to run in the election later this year.
He briefly served as prime minister under autocratic President Hosni Mubarak, who stepped down in early 2011 following 18 days of popular demonstrations against his regime.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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