Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister and the loser in Egypt’s recent election has fled the country, according to reports.
Egyptian presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq has had one of the worst weeks. He lost the presidential bid (and the country) to Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi, the Egyptian people hate him and curse his name in the streets, and Egypt’s prosecutor general opened an investigation into allegations that he wasted public funds during his 8-year term as a civil aviation minister under Mubarak’s former administration.
An official from a Cairo airport says that Shafiq left the country at dawn today, bound for the United Arab Emirates with his three daughters and his grandchildren, reports Newser.
Shafiq’s travel itinerary started with a flight to Abu Dhabi and will end with a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia after which he will return, according to his campaign. According to the Houston Chronicle, Shafiq will return to Egypt in order to start a new political party.
The United Arab Emirates have promised safe haven to any former members of the Mubarak regime. Earlier in the month, Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s former spy chief and Vice President left for Abu Dhabi. Mubarak himself failed to escape, and is currently serving a life sentence in prison after his inability to prevent and stop the killing of hundreds of protestors during the uprising last year that ultimately ousted him from power. Other senior members of the former regime are in jail next to him or will be soon after trials alleging various abuses of power over Mubarak’s three-decade reign are through.
According to the Huffington Post, the narrow win of Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate Mohammed Morsi over Shafiq in the presidential election runoff “deeply polarized the nation.”