Egypt's military detains ex-general seeking to run for president

Now Mr. Mubarak is in peaceful retirement, having been released from custody a year ago, while numerous revolutionaries who helped topple him are in Mr. Sisi's jails, their hopes for democracy apparently dashed for now.

The army spokesman said "the armed forces will not overlook the blatant legal violations [Anan] has committed which are a serious breach of the laws of military service".

The military gave no immediate comment on the alleged detention.

A prominent Egyptian human rights lawyer has become the latest presidential hopeful to withdraw his campaign, leaving only current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in the running.

Two other presidential hopefuls have also withdrawn.

Anan's campaign lasted just four days.

But the lawyer had faced nearly insurmountable challenges from the start, initially in the form of a court case accusing him of making "an obscene gesture" outside a Cairo court.

The letter by Youssef Nada, posted on his Facebook account Monday, has provided media loyal to President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi with additional ammunition to link the would-be candidate, former chief of staff Sami Annan, to the banned Brotherhood.

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"I think it is very unlikely he would be released on bail pending investigations", Elshall said while at the office of the military prosecutor.

Annan is now suspected of forging the required documents, but also of "inciting against the Egyptian army with the aim of driving a wedge between the armed forces and the Egyptian people".

"Now we'll have to wait and see who will come up, probably somebody who does not have that much support on the ground and does not have any support in the military establishment", Ashour said. He was convicted, and if that ruling is upheld on appeal he will be ineligible to run.

Former military commander Sisi was elected in 2014, a year after he led the army to oust Islamist President Mohamed Mursi. In his video announcing his candidacy, Annan spoke of deteriorating living standards and what he called the "erosion" of the state's capabilities, and he blamed it on the policy of increasingly involving the military in the economy and politics.

He has also presided over a massive crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters, which has since been extended to secular opponents and young activists who were at the forefront of the 2011 revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak. Ahmed Shafik, a former prime minister who came in a close second in the 2012 election, was forced to return from exile in December, only to disappear into a Cairo hotel where he was held by security officials who pressed him to quit, according to his lawyer.

Another would-be candidate was former lawmaker Mohammed Anwar Sadat, the nephew of the Egyptian leader who was assassinated in 1981.

"Anan's arrest in this rough manner added [to] the impression that this regime wants a referendum, not competitive elections", he said.

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