Egyptian TV channels have accused Lieutenant General Sami Hafez Anan, a candidate in the 2018 Egyptian presidential elections, of forming an “alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood”.
Sami Anan was the commander of the Air Defence Forces, before being appointed during the rule of President Hosni Mubarak as Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces. He supported the 2013 coup and was dismissed by the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, in August 2012.
After he announced on Friday that he will run for the presidential elections, talk shows, TV presenters, and guests accused Anan of conspiring against the revolution of January 25 and cooperating with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Media personality Mohammed El-Gheity has attacked Anan and the spokesman of his campaign Hazem Hosni and accused Hazem of “hostility against the Egyptian army, and underestimating the achievements of Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi”.
In his Saturday evening TV show, “Saha Al-Noum”, El-Gheity said that Anan chose the former head of Egypt’s Accountability State Authority, Hisham Geneina, as his adviser, “who is known for his relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas”.
He added that “Hazem Hosni praised the documentary on the Qatari channel Al-Jazeera, “Al-Asaker,” and underrated the Suez Canal by saying that it is just a puddle”.
El-Gheity stressed that Hazem has always been a guest on channels owned by the Muslim Brotherhood and that he “insulted Sami Anan himself in 2013,” and that Anan’s announcement was full of “Hosni Mubarak’s terminology.”
He said that “Dr. Hazem Hosni had always stood in the stands of the Faculty of Economics and Political Science and insulted the so-called military, didn’t you find anyone else to write your speech, Mr. Anan?”
TV presenter Youssef El-Husseiny said that he does not mind Lieutenant General Sami Hafez Anan running in the presidential elections, stressing that “every person who considers himself capable of being President of the Republic has the right to run for elections”.
On his TV show “Noqtet Tamass” El-Husseiny called on the presidential candidates to support their electoral programmes with numbers. He directed a question to Lieutenant General Anan: “We have a right to know what Lieutenant General Sami Anan was doing in the United States before the revolution of January 25, and his relationship with the Islamic movement in Egypt.”
El-Husseiny questioned Anan’s motives and why he announced his candidature for the upcoming presidential elections at 2 a.m.
Sami Abdel Aziz, a media professor at Cairo University, said: “In the previous elections I was invited by Sami Anan to run the media campaign. When I met him, I felt that I was in the wrong place, and despite the huge amount of money he offered to pay, I went out and travelled outside Egypt to avoid his insistence.”
In TV statements on Saturday evening Abdel Aziz explained: “Before visiting him I found out he has no ground, no popularity, no popular acceptance and no ideology.”
Amr Abdel Rahman, spokesperson for the potential presidential candidate Khaled Ali, said they were still working to collect power of attorneys despite the obstacles.
In an intervention in “Koll Youm” TV show on Saturday evening, Abdel Rahman attacked Lieutenant General Sami Anan and described him as “the cause of the crisis that Egypt has reached now”.
The spokesperson for the campaign explained that Anan’s candidacy does not concern Khaled Ali, and pointed out that in case votes were deducted from one of the potential candidates so far, this will be from the President Al-Sisi and not from Khaled Ali. He also stressed: “We have two totally different [sets of] supporters.”
Journalist Amr Adeeb stressed that Lieutenant General Sami Anan’s announcement of his candidacy for the presidency confirms that the presidential election of 2018 “is not just a show,” and that there will be a serious battle in the elections.
In his daily TV show “Koll Youm” on Saturday evening on One TV, Adeeb pointed out that “the supporters of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi should not be angry about the attacks on supporters of Sami Anan, or vice versa,” and noted that “these skirmishes are natural”.
Adeeb considered that Anan’s participation in the presidential elections will affect the popularity of the potential candidate Khaled Ali, adding that “Khaled Ali is the real candidate who will be affected by Anan’s participation in the elections”.
He also said that “people abroad are talking about a high-ranking general in the Egyptian army, and they also say that this man wants Egypt to be a purely civilian state and that the army will completely retreat from political and economic life”.
He continued: “This message was appreciated by a lot of people from inside and outside Egypt. This man repeats this talk, it is indeed a good slogan, but how and in what way would this be implemented on the ground.”
On Friday Anan announced his official candidacy for the presidential elections, and called on the civil and military institutions to stand neutral in the presidential competition. He attributed his decision to the deterioration of living standards in Egypt which he said is “getting worse day after day as a result of [misjudged] policies which only hold the armed forces responsible for running the country, without enabling the private sector to play its role in running the state’s affairs.”