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Egypt's military arrests ex-general running for president

Egypt's military arrests ex-general running for president

Egyptian ex-military chief of staff Sami Anan was detained in Cairo on Tuesday, three of his presidential campaign organisers said, after an army statement summoned him over his election bid.

The army said Anan had falsified official documents which stated his military service had terminated, which was required for former military officials to run for election. The islands became an unexpectedly hard issue for Mr. Sisi because they aroused a wave of rare public anger in a country where public protest is largely outlawed.

He had yet to present his papers to the election committee.

Anan had announced his intention to run, two hours after current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi declared his plan to seek a second term. "The #January 25 revolution created the only presidential election in Egypt's history".

Since the ouster of former Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt has been witnessing growing waves of extremism that harmed society, such as the terrorist attack that hit Al-Rawdah Mosque and left more than 302 Friday prayer congregates dead in late November.

On Tuesday, however, a televised army statement read: "The Egyptian Armed Forces can not ignore that Anan has committed legal violations that constitute a serious breach of army regulations".

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On Tuesday, another potential challenger for the presidency, Sami Anan, was arrested by the army.

Ali, a prominent socialist, had entered the race as a symbol of Egypt's leftist revolutionary politics, but on Wednesday he told a press conference packed with supporters that "the opportunity for hope in this presidential election has gone".

A number of military experts indicated in media statements that the potential punishments for Anan could be as serious as imprisonment and discharge from the armed forces. A spokesman for the Anan campaign denied any links with the group.

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.

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

"We urge the authorities in Egypt to ensure that the election campaign is conducted in a credible, inclusive, peaceful and participatory manner", United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters in NY. Ahmed Shafik, a former prime minister who came in a close second in the 2012 election, was forced to return from exile in December, only to disappear into a Cairo hotel where he was held by security officials who pressed him to quit, according to his lawyer. But Ali's candidacy is also at risk because he was convicted in September of making an obscene hand gesture in public, and if that ruling is upheld on appeal, he will be ineligible.