Published: Wed, January 24, 2018
Tech | By Constance Martin

Egypt military arrests presidential hopeful and ex-general Sami Anan

Egypt military arrests presidential hopeful and ex-general Sami Anan

Anan's campaign said his candidacy is suspended "until further notice" [Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters] The former head of Egypt's armed forces, Sami Anan, has suspended his run for the country's presidency, a campaign spokesperson has confirmed.

The army's statement said Anan had falsified documents that stated his military service had ended.

An army statement read on state television said Mr Anan had breached military regulations by announcing his candidacy without obtaining prior permission and that he had committed "crimes" including forging official documents to enable him to run.

In a video statement announcing his intention to run, Mr Anan appealed to military and state institutions to remain neutral in the presidential race, saying it should not be biased in favour of Mr El Sisi who might not be president in a few months' time.

The statement also said that Anan was seeking to divide the armed forces and citizens.

Sisi, who as military chief led the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in 2013 and was elected president the following year, announced last week he will seek a second term in the election set for late March.

Aside from the army, none of Egypt's security agencies have yet to comment on Anan's detention.

In his declaration of his intention to run in the upcoming elections, Anan said he wished to steer Egypt away from "wrong policies" that the current regime has adopted.

Presidential candidates are required to register with Egypt's National Elections Authority by January 29th, according to state media.

Earlier Tuesday, the army had accused Anan of committing a handful of "irregularities" after the latter announced his intention to contest upcoming polls.

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"We're waiting to see what will happen with Anan".

"Probably somebody who does not have that much support on the ground and does not have any support in the military establishment".

With Mr Anan out of the race and possibly facing a court martial, only one serious presidential hopeful is left in the field: prominent rights lawyer Khaled Ali.

Just weeks into his military takeover in 2013, Sisi's junta regime ordered the killing of nearly 1,000 civilians as they organized a sit-in at a mosque near Rabba square in Cairo against the ousting of President Morsi.

The circumstances of his arrest were not clear, but there were unconfirmed reports that he was arrested by military intelligence personnel while being chauffeured in Cairo en route to his campaign headquarters.

Two other presidential hopefuls besides Annan have been forced to quit the race.

Although he was ousted as chief of staff by Mr Morsi, Mr Anan has been attacked by the media as a candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood.

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.

The letter has provided media loyal to President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi with ammunition to link the would-be candidate, former chief of staff Sami Annan, to the banned Brotherhood.

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