EGYPT’S armed forces arrested former top general and presidential candidate Sami Annan today after the banned Muslim Brotherhood backed him.
Exiled Brotherhood leader Youssef Nada wrote an open letter to the former army chief of staff yesterday, setting out conditions for the movement’s support.
They included freeing Brotherhood ex-president Mohammed Morsi, imprisoned following the 2013 military coup d’etat that brought current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to power.
The letter prompted a swift response from the military authorities, which summoned Lieutenant General Annan for questioning.
A statement said: "The armed forces could not ignore the blatant legal violations committed by the aforementioned which constituted a gross breach of the rules and regulations governing the service of armed forces officers."
A brief Facebook statement by the Annan campaign said it was suspending its activity indefinitely.
"The campaign for the nomination of Sami Annan as president of Egypt regrettably announces the indefinite suspension of the campaign out of fear for the safety and security of all citizens who dream of change," it said.
Mr Annan accepted the Egypt Arabist Democratic party nomination for March’s election less than two weeks ago.
He was chief of staff during the 2011 Arab Spring uprising, which brought down president Hosni Mubarak after 30 years in power, and was favoured by the Brotherhood for his refusal to move against protesters.
When he was in power, Mr Morsi joined Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey in supporting Syrian sectarians, including the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, fighting to overthrow the secular republic.
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