Araweelo News Network
Cairo(ANN)-The Egyptian Armed Forces have accused ex-military chief of staff General Sami Anan, a presidential rival of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in March elections, of forgery and other crimes linked to his candidacy announcement.
A spokesman of the general command of the Egyptian Armed Forces made the allegations against 69-year-old Anan in an audio statement broadcast on state television on Tuesday, saying Anan’s announcement regarding his intention to run in the upcoming election “amounts to incitement against the military with the aim of causing a rift between the armed forces and the great Egyptian people.”
A report by the online edition of Egypt’s al-Ahram newspaper, citing Anan’s campaign spokesman Mahmoud Refaat, also said that the former military chief had been arrested and interrogated by the military prosecution earlier in the day. The military, however, has not yet issued an official confirmation of Anan’s arrest.
Organizers of his campaign reportedly announced that he had called off his bid.
“The armed forces would not tolerate the blatant legal violations committed [by Anan] which constituted a serious breach of the rules and regulations governing service of armed forces officers,” the statement by the military further said, adding that Anan announced his candidacy “without getting consent from the armed forces … or taking the steps necessary to terminate his service.”
The statement further alleged that in order to run for the March presidential election, Anan purportedly forged official documents, stating that his service with the military had ended. It also pledged to take “all legal procedures for the violations and crimes” allegedly carried out by Anan, saying that he has been summoned for investigations.
The statement, however, did not specify precisely the crimes or violations purportedly committed by the ex-military chief. It seems that the highly critical stance Anan adopted toward the Sisi administration has infuriated the government.
in a video posted on his official Facebook page on Saturday, Anan announced his presidential bid, saying he was running for president at a time of deteriorating living conditions, wrong policies and the state’s failure to address major issues.
Anan is the fourth potential opponent of Sisi to be arrested or prosecuted after announcing their pledge to stand in the election.
Sisi came to power as president in June 2014 after winning a landslide victory in the presidential election held a month earlier with securing nearly 97 percent of the vote. In July 2013, he led a military coup against Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically-elected president after the fall of former dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011, that led to Morsi’s ouster and imprisonment.
The presidential election is scheduled to be held on March 26-28, with candidates required to submit all necessary papers to Egypt’s National Elections Authority between 20 and 29 January.
Sisi is widely expected to win in the first round of the vote, particularly after two prominent potential candidates announced that they would not take part in the poll. His main challenger former premier Ahmed Shafiq, who had declared his candidacy last month, said he would not run in the election.
His administration has been tough on followers of the Muslim Brotherhood, the most prominent political party in Egypt which is now outlawed. Many members of the party, including Morsi, have been given harsh sentences while tens of thousands have been arrested awaiting trial.
The crackdown on the Brotherhood has sparked widespread outrage around the world as rights campaigners and governments keep criticizing the Sisi administration for the collective imprisonment of the party members.