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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 September 2018

Ex-military chief of staff to run in Egyptian presidential election

General Sami Anan said he will run for president to save Egypt from incorrect policies

Former Egyptian armed forces chief of staff General Sami Anan, pictured here in Cairo on March 29, 2011, has announced his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election. Khaled Desouki / Pool / File Photo / Reuters
Former Egyptian armed forces chief of staff General Sami Anan, pictured here in Cairo on March 29, 2011, has announced his candidacy for the upcoming presidential election. Khaled Desouki / Pool / File Photo / Reuters

Former Egyptian armed forces chief of staff General Sami Anan said on Saturday he intended to run in the country's presidential election in March.

In a video declaration posted on Gen Anan's official Facebook page, he said he will run for president to save Egypt from incorrect policies and called on state institutions to maintain neutrality toward all candidates.

His Arabism Egypt Party said last week that it had "[taken] a decision for General Sami Anan's candidacy and informed him of the decision and there was no problem at all and no objection [from him]".

Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El Sisi, himself a former general, announced late on Friday that he would run for a second term. The election is Egypt's third since the 2011 uprising that deposed president Hosni Mubarak.

"I call on civilian and military institutions to maintain neutrality towards everyone who had announced their intention to run and not take unconstitutional sides of a president who will leave his post in a few months," Gen Anan said.

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He added that he had formed his civilian presidential team, which includes Hisham Genena, a former policeman and judge who was appointed to head Egypt’s corruption watchdog in 2012 and sacked by Mr El Sisi in 2016.

The vote will be held on March 26-28, with a run-off vote on April 24-26 if no candidate wins more than 50 per cent in the first round. Candidates will register from January 20 to January 29.

Those challenging Mr El Sisi describe a sweeping effort to kill off their campaigns before they have begun, with media attacks on candidates, intimidation of supporters and a nomination process stacked in favour of the former general.

"There are people I know who are corrupt, I will not allow them to come near this chair," Mr El Sisi said earlier in announcing his candidacy.

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