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Ex-Egyptian PM Shafiq Denies Kidnap Reports, Says He's Still Considering Presidential Bid

Former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq (file photo)

Former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq has denied reports that he was kidnapped, in a phone interview on live TV.

The interview was his first public pronouncement since he returned to his home country on December 2 following five years of self-exile in United Arab Emirates.

Shafiq’s family had said earlier that he was "kidnapped." His lawyer, Dina Adly, said she met Shafik in a Cairo hotel and his health was "good."

The 76-year-old left the United Arab Emirates following his announcement that he plans to run for president next year.

Shafiq is a former air force general who briefly led the Egyptian government during the final days of Hosni Mubarak’s rule and shortly after his was ousted in 2011.

He fled to the U.A.E. after losing Egypt's 2012 presidential elections to Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

If Shafiq does run for the presidency, he is seen as a strong potential opponent of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is expected to run for a second term next year.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and Al Jazeera