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Egypt detains last major challenger to Sisi's reelection

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By Euronews
People walk by a poster of Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo
People walk by a poster of Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo   -   Copyright  REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Egyptian authorities have detained the last major challenger to the re-election of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi: Sami Anan, the former military chief of staff.

Anan, who had announced his candidacy just last week, was taken to the Military Prosecutor's office in Cairo, according to his son and one of his lawyers, who were waiting outside the building.

The army says Anan broke the law by running for office without permission.

He's the latest candidate to drop out of the race amid claims of intimidation by authorities.

Former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, Sisi’s most prominent opponent, abandoned his presidential bid earlier this month. He said that after years living abroad he was out of touch with Egyptian politics, but the news came amid speculation he was being held by authorities in a hotel in Cairo.

Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat, the nephew of assassinated President Anwar al-Sadat also said last week he would not run, citing a climate of fear surrounded the vote.

President Sisi has been criticised over austerity measures and a crackdown on dissidents. Now with no real challenger, many expect him to easily win a second term in March.