Published: Thu, January 25, 2018
Science | By Eileen Rhodes

Egypt's army 'arrests Anan for incitement' over presidential bid

Egypt's army 'arrests Anan for incitement' over presidential bid

The announcement came a day after Egyptian authorities detained former army chief of staff Lieutenant General Sami Anan, the only other serious potential challenger to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Other candidates have until January 29 to register before a final list is announced on February 20.

Lieutenant General Sami Anan was the Chief of Staff of Egypt's Armed Forces from 2005 until August 2012; he kept his seat after the 2011 revolution, but was sacked by former President Mohamed Morsi.

Now Mr. Mubarak is in peaceful retirement, having been released from custody a year ago, while numerous revolutionaries who helped topple him are in Mr. Sisi's jails, their hopes for democracy apparently dashed for now.

A former army chief, Sisi led a 2013 military coup against his democratically-elected predecessor, Mohamed Morsi, of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

The armed forces said that Anan's statement regarding running for president contained clear incitement against the armed forces for the objective of driving a wedge between the armed forces and the great Egyptian people.

Annan was also arrested by the military Tuesday, but his campaign made no mention of that.

Egypt's military says it will investigate former chief of staff and presidential hopeful Sami Annan for allegedly forging documents and breaching army regulations.

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"We know that there are divisions and rivalries", Hanna said.

The general command of the Egyptian armed forces, in a video posted on Facebook, accused Anan of crimes including forgery.

They included the arrest of some of his campaign activists, a tight schedule that made it hard for potential candidates to gather the needed endorsements for their applications, and a generally unfair climate.

Ahmed Shafik, a former prime minister and air force chief, abandoned a bid this month, saying that after several years living overseas he was out of touch with Egyptian politics.

Last week, Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat, the nephew of assassinated president Anwar al-Sadat, abruptly pulled out of the contest, citing concerns about his safety and about the prospects for fair and transparent elections.

On Wednesday it was the turn of Khaled Ali, a leftist human rights lawyer who was seen as the strongest candidate still standing against Sisi following the elimination of two others. He also blamed security agencies for harassing supporters seeking to obtain "recommendations" for his nomination at notary offices across the country.

Earlier in 2017, Amnesty International warned that the Egyptian authorities had intensified their crackdown on opposition activists ahead of the 2018 presidential election by rounding up activists from opposition parties. His candidacy also could have drawn a sizable protest vote from Egyptians struggling under high prices resulting from el-Sissi's ambitious reform program to overhaul the battered economy.

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