Egyptian presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq reportedly left the country on June 26 for the United Arab Emirates from where he intends to set out on a pilgrimage to the holy Mecca in Saudi Arabia, The Al-Ahram reports.
According to an airport official, Shafiq flew to Abu Dhabi with two of his three daughters and three grandchildren. His campaign manager told Al-Masry al-Youm newspaper that Shafiq left for a short stay, and would return after making a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. He then plans to launch a new political party, clarified the same source, the state news agency MENA reported.
The departure of Shafiq came hours after the country's prosecutor general opened a corruption investigation that Ahmed Shafiq had wasted public funds during the eight years he spent as Minister of Civil Aviation during the administration of former president, Hosni Mubarak.
During the presidential campaign, Shafiq has denied all allegations of corruption directed towards him.
However, several members of the Mubarak regime flees to the UAE since the fall of the deposed President Hosni Mubarak. Egypt's former spy chief and Vice-President Omar Suleiman also left the country for the UAE.