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Sami Anan’s whereabouts unknown: Son

The whereabouts of former Chief of Staff Sami Anan, who was arrested and brought before military prosecution after announcing his presidential bid, remain unknown, his son Samir Anan told Mada Masr on Wednesday.

After attending a six-hour interrogation with Anan on Tuesday, his lawyer from the Dina Hussein Law Firm was told that he would be released and sent home. However, Anan’s family has been unable to reach him since, according to Samir.

The former chief of staff was arrested from his car and brought before the military prosecution early on Tuesday, right before the Armed Forces’ statement on Anan’s “violations and crimes” was broadcast, Mostafa al-Shal, the head of his personal office, previously told Mada Masr.

Samir’s comments follow Tuesday evening media reports that the National Elections Authority (NEA) removed Anan’s name from the national electoral register due to his contested military status, citing an NEA statement, rendering the former chief of staff ineligible to participate in the 2018 electoral process as a candidate or as a voter. The NEA spokesperson confirmed in statements to the media that Anan’s name had been removed from the register, adding that copies of the statement in question were not available to the press.

In its televised statement broadcast on Tuesday afternoon, the Armed Forces accused the presidential candidate of announcing his bid for office without first acquiring a permit from the military, aiming to incite a rift between the Armed Forces and the public, as well as forging his end of service documents. A few hours after the statement was aired, Anan’s official campaign Facebook page announced that the campaign was suspended until further notice.  

The Cairo Court of Urgent Matters ruled on Tuesday in favor of a lawsuit filed by lawyer Samir Sabry requesting the release of documents proving that Anan is enlisted as a military reserve officer, according to the privately owned Al-Shorouk newspaper.

Anan formally announced his intent to run for presidency via an online video on Friday night, released on the heels of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s announcement that he intends to seek a second term in office. In the video, Anan demanded that civilian and military state institutions refrain from showing an “unconstitutional bias toward a president who might leave his chair in a few months.”

Ousted President Mohamed Morsi forcibly retired Anan from his position as chief of staff of the Armed Forces in August 2012, using the same decree which saw Sisi replace former Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi.

Presidential candidates have until 2 pm on January 29 to submit the necessary paperwork to be officially recognized as candidates by the NEA. To be eligible to run in the 2018 presidential election, Egypt’s Constitution and presidential elections law stipulate that candidates must collect endorsements from at least 20 members of Parliament, or from 25,000 eligible voters from 15 different governorates, with a minimum of 1,000 endorsements from each governorate.

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