January 19, 2018 / 11:49 PM / 8 months ago

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

CAIRO (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.

FILE PHOTO: Egypt's former army chief of staff Sami Anan speaks during a news conference at his office in Cairo, March 13, 2014. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File photo

In a video declaration posted on 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.

General-turned-President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced late on Friday 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,” Anan said.

Anan said in his statement 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 was sacked by 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 percent in the first round. Candidates will register from Jan. 20 to Jan. 29.

Those challenging 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,” Sisi said earlier in announcing his candidacy.

FILE PHOTO: General Sami Anan (L), Army chief of Staff and member of the SCAF at the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and other high-ranking military officials attend the Coptic Christmas eve mass at the main cathedral in Cairo, Egypt January 6, 2012. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo

Reporting by Amina Ismail and Ali Abdelaty; Editing by James Dalgleish and Leslie Adler

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