Egypt’s ex-army chief not to run for president

Cairo, March 14: Former Egyptian military Chief of Staff Sami Anan announced Thursday that he will not join the country’s upcoming presidential race.

“I refrain from being pushed into a plot that aims to harm Egypt and its armed forces,” Anan said, noting that the country is facing challenges and conspiracies that require unity between the people and the military.

Anan said that he served the country’s army for half a century and will be forever proud of belonging to “such a great army”.

Anan was once a military adviser for ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. He has faced criticism from supporters of military chief and Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.

The latter accused him of being “the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood” which is currently blacklisted by the interim government as a ” terrorist organisation”.

Anan’s announcement leaves Sisi as the only expected presidential hopeful from the armed forces, as the latter’s popularity has grown in the turmoil-stricken country. A lot of Sisi’s supporters have called on him to join the presidential race.

Leftist leader Hamdeen Sabahy, who had previously voiced support for Sisi as “a national hero”, was the first to have officially announced to join the presidential race.

–Indo-Asia News Service

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IANS