FILE - 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
CAIRO – 24 January 2018: Former Chief of Staff Samy Anan raised a storm of controversy since his announcement to run in the 2018 presidential election on Saturday. The general revealed two potential vice-presidents – one of which was dismissed from a very prominent position upon an integrity issue.
Furthermore, it turned out that he did not obtain a permit from the Egyptian Armed Forces to terminate his service in the military and become a civilian enjoying all political rights. Anan is currently accused of forging such official documents with the purpose of unlawfully being included in the electoral database.
The notorious figure the general selected as a potential vice-president is Chancellor Hisham Geneina, former head of the Central Auditing Authority. Geneina was dismissed from his post in March 2016 after issuing a report alleging that state institutions made the country lose LE 600 billion ($56.46 billion) to corruption in four years.
A fact-finding commission was formed by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and figured out that the corruption incidents mentioned in the report occurred over more than 60 years and not just in four.
Geneina was appointed by ousted President Mohamed Morsi, who is a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Geneina adopts the political ideology of the outlawed group and has been quite close to its leaders.
As the Brotherhood regime was toppled through mass protests by tens of millions of Egyptians, the proximity of Anan to Geneina has put into question if the former is being backed by the terrorist group in order to return to politics and get a cover-up for their crimes.
The following is the statement released on Tuesday by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces on Anan’s status.
“In the Arab, African and Islamic world, and in the face of the unprecedented challenges posed by external forces and internal armed groups, the Egyptian Armed Forces have always been at the forefront, fighting to maintain the integrity of the Egyptian state and its institutions within a set of necessary and strict legal frameworks in this regard.
In light of former major-general Sami Hafez Anan's announcement of candidacy, the former chief of staff of the armed forces, the Armed Forces could not turn a blind eye to the blatant violations of the Armed Forces’ laws and regulations that were committed by Anan, set forth as follows:
First, he declared his candidacy for the presidential election without obtaining the approval of the Armed Forces, or taking the necessary measures that legally validate his candidacy process.
Secondly, the statement in which he announced his presidential bid included explicit incitement against the Armed Forces, with an aim of causing discord between them and the Egyptian people.
Thirdly, the abovementioned general has committed the crime of forging official documents, showing that he is out of the military service, which unlawfully included him in the voters' database. Based on the abovementioned and in adherence to the principle of the rule of law, all necessary and legal measures must be taken in this regard.”
Anan was the chief of staff of Egypt between 2005 and 2012, until he was forced to resign along with former Minister of Defense Hussein Tantawy by Morsi. In the 2014 presidential election, he declared he would run for office but did not.
In its latest press release on Monday, the National Election Authority (NEA) said that it had not received any candidacy applications yet. However, a total of 850,000 endorsement forms have been signed by citizens for potential candidates.
Each potential candidate must be endorsed by either 20 parliament members or 250,000 citizens from a minimum of 15 different governorates.
The number of citizens eligible to vote in the presidential election due in March is 58 million; names can still be excluded or added as per legal guidelines.
The NEA announced the 2018 presidential election timetable on January 8. Potential candidates are allowed to submit their applications between January 20 and 29. The final list of candidates will be announced on February 24.
Voting will take place for three days, starting March 26 domestically, while it will begin on March 16 for expats from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. in each country’s local time. The winning candidate will be announced on April 2.
Potential candidates who announced they would run for office are incumbent President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, Samy Anan, rights lawyer Khaled Ali, and parliamentarian and President of Zamalek Sports Club Mortada Mansour.
Sisi is the sixth president of Egypt since it turned into a republic in 1952. He came to office in June 2014 after the June 30 uprising that toppled former President Mohamed Morsi, a leader at the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.