If there was any doubt that Egypt’s upcoming presidential election will be neither free nor fair, the arrest of former military chief of staff Sami Anan shortly after announcing that he would run for president has made it crystal clear. The March vote will in no way confirm President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s popularity among the Egyptian people. This election campaign is merely an extension of the internal power struggle among the military and the regime’s security services, and it has nothing to do with democratic mechanisms worthy of the name. In the early hours of Saturday morning, Anan returned to the political scene. In a video announcement that was released on his Facebook page after midnight, the Hosni Mubarak-era general declared his intention to run in the upcoming presidential election.
“From now on, [Sisi] is only a candidate among other candidates,” he stated in a confident and matter-of-fact tone, as if he were responding to the president’s threats made hours earlier against the “corrupt,” whom Sisi warned against trying to “come near this chair.”
Just a few days later, Sisi’s angry threats came to fruition. Anan was arrested on Tuesday morning after a statement attributed to the military was read on state television. It accused Anan of violating regulations by attempting to run for election without prior permission from the army and of “incitement against the armed forces with the aim of creating a rift” between the army and the Egyptian people. Sisi’s fears about even a semi-free electoral process, and his doubts about his chances against a candidate with Anan’s stature, were plain to see.
Full Article: Egypt’s Undemocratic Election – Foreign Policy.