Shafiq has been seen by critics of Sisi as a potential challenger to the former military commander. REUTERS/Jumana El Heloueh
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Shafiq, a former air force chief and government minister, has been seen by critics of President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi as a potential challenger to the former military commander who is widely expected to run for a second term next year.Shafiq made his surprise announcement Wednesday about running in the 2018 election from the UAE where he has been based with his family.Shafiq, who narrowly lost a 2012 bid against Morsi, has joined several lower-profile candidates who say they will run, though some believe they have no chance against Sisi.After four decades in the military, Shafiq touted his military experience as one of his strengths in the 2012 vote.Shafiq's second declaration about being unable to travel was made on the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera channel, criticized by the UAE and Egypt as a mouthpiece for the Muslim Brotherhood, a charge it denies.Two private lawyers filed complaints against Shafiq with the public prosecutor in Egypt because of the Al-Jazeera broadcast.
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