Former Egyptian premier Ahmed Shafiq on Sunday announced he will not stand in the 2018 presidential elections, reversing a pledge to challenge at polls set to be dominated by leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Shafiq’s decision to scrap his candidacy came after he was returned from the United Arab Emirates, where he had been living in exile since 2012, back to Egypt last month.
“I have decided to not run in the upcoming 2018 presidential elections,” Shafiq said in a statement posted online.
“I saw that I will not be the best person.”
Shafiq, appointed premier by former president Hosni Mubarak shortly before his overthrow in 2011, was seen as a main challenger for Sisi, who is expected to cruise to a new term despite not yet officially announcing his candidacy.