Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Egypt Excludes Ex-army Chief of Staff from Voters Database
2018/1/24 8:14:26

The Egyptian election authority announced on Tuesday excluding the name of former army chief of staff Sami Anan, who seeks to join the 2018 presidential race, from the eligible voters database, the Egyptian state TV reported.

The National Election Authority (NEA) said that his inclusion in the voters database violates the law.

The Egyptian constitution does not allow military men to join or vote in elections.

The Egyptian army said in an official statement on Tuesday that it will summon Anan to interrogate him over "legal violations" he made by running for president without a prior approval from the armed forces.

According to the military regulations, Anan has to resign or get prior approval from the supreme council of the armed forces before running for president, otherwise he could be summoned for military service whenever necessary.

The army statement said that Anan falsified official documents stating he has ended his service at the armed forces, "which is not true," adding that he will be summoned to be interrogated over "the violations and crimes" included in his move towards the presidential bid.

Anan said Saturday early morning that he would submit his presidential candidacy papers "once I finish some procedures that I have to do as a former military chief of staff according to the military laws and regulations."

He blamed in his video statement Egypt's ongoing problems on "wrong policies" and calling on the country's institutions not to take sides in favor of any candidate.

Anan's announcement came after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi declared his intention to run for a second four-year presidential term, last one for Sisi if he wins according to the Egyptian constitution.

The military said on Tuesday that Anan's statement also contained "clear incitement against the armed forces for the purpose of driving a wedge between the armed forces and the great Egyptian people."

On the other hand, veteran air forces commander and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, who fled Egypt after narrowly losing to former Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in the 2012 elections, announced earlier in January his withdrawal from the presidential race after coming back to Egypt from the United Arab Emirates, where he spent the past five years.

Another presidential hopeful, rights and opposition lawyer Khaled Ali, announced last November his intention to join the presidential race.

Ali could be disqualified as he had received a suspended three-month jail term last September over an obscene hand gesture he reportedly made after winning a court order challenging the government.

After Anan's investigation news, Ali's campaign said on Tuesday that they are currently studying giving up the presidential bid.

Egypt will hold its 2018 presidential polls in late March. After a 10-day candidate registration period that started on Saturday, the candidates will start their campaigns on Feb. 24. The result of the first round is set to be announced on April 2, according to the NEA.

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