Last major challenger to Egypt's President Sisi arrested

25 January, 2018, 02:00 | Author: Patty Aguilar
  • The Sun reports that Egyptian president Abdel El Sisi has pardoned Laura Plummer. The Egyptian Presidency  Handout via Reuters

Egypt's political climate witnessed on Tuesday unprecedented upheaval when the Egyptian Armed Forces recalled its former chief of staff-turned presidential hopeful, Sami Anan, announcing they are investigating him for "forgery" in his presidential bid, as well as "violating" army rules, and "inciting" against the armed forces, before it emerged that he had been arrested.

The army released a written statement on state television accusing General Anan of announcing his intention to run for president "without getting permission from the armed forces. or taking the steps necessary to terminate his service".

A senior worker at the campaign of Egyptian presidential hopeful Khaled Ali says they are holding an emergency meeting to assess their position following the arrest of another hopeful, former military chief of staff Sami Annan.

Documents required for Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi to run for the 2018 presidential elections have been submitted to the electoral authority on Wednesday, official MENA news agency reported.

With Annan out of the race, only one serious potential challenger is left: Prominent rights lawyer Khaled Ali. "The #January 25 revolution created the only presidential election in Egypt's history".

Anan's arrest came a week after he announced his presidential aspirations on his official Facebook page, promising reform.

A former army chief, Sisi led a 2013 military coup against his democratically-elected predecessor, Mohamed Morsi, of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. The campaign announced Anan was halting his bid, which he had announced just last week. In his video announcing his candidacy, Annan spoke of deteriorating living standards and what he called the "erosion" of the state's capabilities, and he blamed it on the policy of increasingly involving the military in the economy and politics.


His detention came before the armed forces' statement, added Geneina, the former head of the Central Auditing Authority (CAA) who was sacked by Sisi in 2016 after he was accused of exaggerating the cost of corruption.

Would-be candidates for the presidency must register with the National Elections Authority by January 29.

Three other potential presidential candidates have already dropped out of the race.

Ali was the only serious would-be candidate to challenge President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

Sisi recently received endorsements from more than 500 of the 596 members of parliament before even officially declaring his intention to run for a second term.

But the lawyer had faced nearly insurmountable challenges from the start, initially in the form of a court case accusing him of making "an obscene gesture" outside a Cairo court.

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.

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