US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Tuesday that the US is closely monitoring the elections in Egypt following the arrest of presidential hopeful Sami Anan, who was accused by the Egyptian Armed Forces in a dramatic televised statement of committing forgery, violating army rules, and inciting against the armed forces.
“We are watching closely the situation in Egypt and we are aware of what is going on,” Nauert told a reporter during a press conference, following Anan’s arrest.
She expressed disapproval of the shape which the elections have taken place so far, “We are not supporting the presence of restrictions on the expression of opinions in Egypt,” Nauert said.
“The United States wants a fair and free electoral process [in] Egypt.”
On Tuesday, the Presidential hopeful Sami Anan’s official campaign coordinator Mahmoud Refaat posted on Twitter that Anan has been arrested after a statement was released by Armed Forces, in which it said that Anan will be investigated over charges of “forgery.”
Meanwhile, the official Facebook page for Sami Anan’s presidential campaign said that campaign activities will be suspended following the release of the army’s statement and the presidential hopeful’s arrest.
“The campaign of candidacy #Sami_Annan announces with great sorrow the suspension of the campaign until further notice, for the sake of keeping the security and safety of all citizens who are in need of change,” the campaign’s statement read.
The armed forces released on Tuesday a televised statement in which it said that Anan, who is the former chief of staff of the armed forces has not received permission from the army to run for the 2018 Egyptian presidential elections, and that he had committed “forgery” in his official documents.
It added that this was a violation of army rules and an investigation will be conducted against him by army authorities.
Anan announced on January 20 via a video posted on his official Facebook page, affirming that he intended to run in Egypt’s presidential elections.
This video has also been cited by the armed forces, as “incitement” against the army, accusing him of disrupting the relationship between Egyptians and the army.