Reactions vary on Anan’s withdrawal from presidential race
Samy Anan - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Since former army Chief of Staff Samy Anan officially announced Thursday morning that he would not run for president, reactions from political parties have varied from praise to criticism to indifference.

Anan was one of the most well known figures who was expected to announce his presidential bid after Hamdeen Sabbahi officially declared his candidacy last month. His press office even circulated a rare photo of Anan in civilian attire, a look the media read as an attempt to depict the career-military-figure Anan as possible civilian president.

Various unofficial announcements have circulated since the start of the year that Samy Anan would run for president, some of which were met by claims that his presidency would be a return to rule by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) and others that he was supported by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat, head of the Reform and Development Party praised Anan’s decision, saying it was the “right decision” and “expected,” in statements to Youm7.  And the head of the presidential board of the Salafi Nour Party, Salah Abdel Maaboud, told Youm7 that Anan’s decision came at the right time.

On the other hand, Major General Mokhtar Kandil said that Anan’s withdrawal was a negative indication, Youm7 reported.

The spokesperson of Tamarod, Mohamed Nabawi, told The Cairo Post that Anan’s decision to withdraw from the presidential race would not make any difference and would not affect people “because Anan is not popular among Egyptians.”

The Tamarod movement is currently split, with main branches of the group supporting Defense Minister Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and other factions within the movement supporting Sabbahi.

Although Sisi has made no official declaration that he will run for president, Sisi announced last month, amid wide popular demands supporting his candidacy, that he would “succumb to the people’s demand of running for the republic’s presidency.”

The other possible candidate for the race is a former presidential candidate from 2012, Khaled Ali,  but he too has not officially announced his candidacy. Ali’s media advisor, Hala Mostafa, said he would declare his final position next Sunday, and his campaign spokesperson had no comment on Anan’s decision to withdraw, when asked by The Cairo Post.

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