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Egypt arrests ex-presidential candidate Abul Fotouh

Abul Fotouh was once a leading member of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 February, 2018

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Egyptian police have arrested Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh, a leading government critic and party leader, along with five of his aides on Wednesday, security officials said.

Egyptian police have arrested Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh, a leading government critic and party leader, along with five of his aides on Wednesday, security officials said.

The reason for the arrest of Abul Fotouh, a candidate in the 2012 presidential election, was not immediately clear.

It comes after the arrest of a party deputy leader and a call by Abul Fotouh and several other politicians for a boycott of next month's election.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to easily win the election after most rivals were sidelined or withdrew.

Sisi was elected in 2014, a year after the former army chief ousted his unpopular Islamist predecessor Mohammed Morsi.

Abul Fotouh, once a leading member of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, had supported the mass protests against the Islamist that prompted the military to topple him.

He has since been critical of Sisi who has been accused of clamping down on dissent.

Egyptian police also arrested the country's former anti-graft chief. Hisham Geneina was arrested at his Cairo home on Tuesday and military prosecutors have decided to remand him in custody for 15 days pending the completion of an investigation.

Geneina was an aide to Sami Anan, a former military chief of staff detained after the army accused him of illegally announcing his intention to stand in the March election against Sisi.

His arrest came after he suggested that a Anan had documents implicating current leaders and threatened to bring them to light "should he be mistreated by Egyptian authorities." 

Sisi's government has been accused of prolific corruption by human rights groups. Anan was seen as Sisi's main challenger before he was detained earlier this week. He was accused of not receiving permission from army staff to run for president.

Other challengers who posed a threat to Sisi have also been detained or shackled with unsubstantiated charges.

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