Egypt presidential hopeful accused of incitement

Retired general Annan to be questioned over ‘grave violations’ of military regulations; his campaign halted

Cairo: The Egyptian army on Tuesday accused ex-chief of military staff Sami Annan, who this week announced his intention to run for president, of forgery in official documents and vowed to interrogate him.

The army said in a statement that Annan, a retired general, announced his presidential bid after stating that he is no longer in the military service, “which is not true”.

The statement also accused Annan of announcing his intention to contest the presidential election due in March without getting prior approval in violation of military rules.

According to the Egyptian constitution, army and police officials must first leave the service before they can stand in parliamentary or presidential elections.

The army also said Annan’s announcement of his presidential bid “openly” incited against the military establishment with the aim of causing a “division” between the army and the Egyptian people.

“The Armed Forces cannot condone the flagrant, grave legal breaches committed by the mentioned person [Annan] as they constitute blatant violation of the military service regulations,” the army said.

In response to the army’s statement, Annan’s campaign said it has halted its activities “until further notice”.

On Saturday, Annan, 69, announced his intention to vie in the presidential vote, hours after President Abdul Fatah Al Sissi said he would seek a second term in office.

In his video announcement, Annan criticised what he called “wrong polices”, including an increasing role for the army in state’s affairs.

Since he announced his bid, Annan has been condemned by Al Sissi’s loyalists and in the media as linked to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

In 2013, the army, then led by Al Sissi, deposed president Mohammad Mursi, a senior Brotherhood official, following massive protests against his rule.


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