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Egyptian colonel jailed after announcing presidential bid

Egyptian colonel jailed after announcing presidential bid

Egypt

An Egyptian army officer has been sentenced to six years in prison after announcing his intention to run in the country’s 2018 presidential election, his lawyer and wife have said.

A military court found Colonel Ahmed Konsowa, 42, guilty of expressing political opinions as a serving military officer, his lawyer Asaad Heikal told Reuters.

Konsowa was detained for 15 days after he appeared in a video last month announcing that he intended to run against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the vote, which will take place early next year.

He said he had submitted his resignation from the army in 2014 but it had not been accepted.

Other candidates who have expressed their intentions to run for presidency next year include Ahmed Shafik, the country’s former prime minister and Khaled Ali, a prominent lawyer.

Khaled Ali was also convicted in September on charges of public indecency, a development that human rights groups condemned as ‘politically motivated’ to eliminate the president’s rivals.

Sisi, the former commander of Egypt’s military, has yet to announce he will seek reelection, but is widely expected to do so.

Sisi resigned from the army in March 2014 before declaring his candidacy in the country’s presidential elections that year, which he won in a landslide.

Sisi had led a military coup in July 2013 to overthrow Egypt’s first democratically elected leader, Mohamed Morsi.

Konsowa’s wife Rasha Safwat said they would appeal against the verdict.

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