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Former Military Chief of Staff Enters Egypt’s Presidential Race


FILE - Egypt's Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Sami Anan, right, shakes hands with the U.S. Commander of the Central Command James Mattis during a meeting in Cairo, Egypt, March 29, 2011. Anan announced his candidacy for president of Egypt on Saturday.

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

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 Friday he would run for a second term. The election is Egypt’s third since the 2011 uprising that deposed President Hosni Mubarak.

FILE - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi delivers a statement following a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Nov. 26, 2014.
FILE - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi delivers a statement following a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Nov. 26, 2014.

“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 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 favor 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.

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