Egypt: Sisi Poised to Win 2nd Term as Last Challenger Arrested

Egypt: Sisi Poised to Win 2nd Term as Last Challenger Arrested

Egypt: Sisi Poised to Win 2nd Term as Last Challenger Arrested

On Tuesday, the Egyptian army broadcast a statement on state television accusing the former general of a "serious breach of the laws of military service".

The Supreme Committee of the Armed Forces (SCAF) accused Anan, himself also the former head of the Egyptian armed forces, of forging documents and not seeking their approval before announcing his presidential campaign.

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has submitted his nomination documents to Egypt's election commission, a day after a potentially serious challenger was arrested over criminal allegations.

Opposition rights lawyer Khaled Ali is now the only person aside from al-Sisi who has announced a bid for the presidency. Egypt's president's office and government press centre have not commented on the election race.

The constitution of Egypt requires that election proceedings shall not begin earlier than 120 days from the date of the end of the current presidential term, which ends on June 8 and the results shall not be announced later than 30 days before the date of the end of the current presidential term.

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. 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. The campaign announced Anan was halting his bid, which he had announced just last week.

Sisi has also introduced harsh austerity measures in the country after taking a large US$12 billion loan from International Monetary Fund. Sisi has also been accused of a brutal crackdown on dissent as many secular and Islamist activists who were part of the 2011 uprising are either killed or jailed.

Two other presidential hopefuls have also withdrawn.

Other potential candidates include Khaled Ali, a rights lawyer and 2012 presidential candidate, and military Colonel Ahmed Konsowa.

He received a three-month prison sentence for "offending public decency" after he allegedly made an obscene gesture during a protest.

Lieutenant General Sami Anan was the Chief of Staff of Egypt's Armed Forces from 2005 until August 2012; he kept his seat after the 2011 revolution, but was sacked by former President Mohamed Morsi.

In a brief statement, Annan's campaign said it was suspending its activity indefinitely "out of fear for the safety and security of all citizens who dream of change".

Earlier this month, Ahmed Shafiq, former President Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister, withdrew his presidential candidacy saying he was "not the best choice for managing the affairs of state in the coming period".

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