Breaking: Army colonel who declared bid for presidency receives six years in jail

Army colonel Ahmed Konsowa who recently announced his candidacy for the 2018 Egyptian presidential election received a six-year prison sentence on Tuesday, after a military trial was held against him on charges of violating military rules – which stipulate non-participation in politics from its service personnel.

Assaed Haikel, Konsowa’s lawyer, told Egypt Independent on Tuesday that he will look into legal measures to appeal the sentence for the former presidential hopeful.

Haikel explained that Konsowa was accused of violating military rules after expressing his political views in the video announcing his candidacy, as well as wearing his military uniform for purposes not related to military service.

Egypt’s military prosecution recently detained Konsowa for a period of 15 days following his announcement his bid for the presidency.

Konsowa’s bid had made him the third candidate for the presidency, after rights lawyer Khalid Ali and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq also declared their candidacy.

His wife, who preferred not to reveal her name, previously helped shed light on the situation, although revealed she was unaware of his presidential intention.

“I did not know that he was intending to run for the 2018 presidential elections,” she remarked, and said that once she was made aware, she and the rest of their family supported him.

“He was a good and competent army officer and he previously handed in his resignation from the army to be able to practice politics,” she revealed.

However, she says Konsowa’s resignation request has not yet been processed.

“We [Konsowa’s family] are now safe and we have not received any threats,” she assured.

Konsowa’s candidacy was a surprise announcement due to his lack of a reputation in Egyptian politics.

“I am Colonel Ahmed Konswa, an architect military officer for the Egyptian Armed Forces” he said in a video statement, while expressing his faith in Egypt’s ability to continue thriving.

”I would like to confirm that the story of justice and freedom is impossible to be ended on Egyptian soil,” he went on, adding that Egypt will never be a failed or divided state, “This is not going to happen at present, and will not happen forever.”

“I proudly declare that I seek to unlock the current political deadlock by running for the anticipated Egyptian presidential election, according to its terms and conditions as defined by the Egyptian constitution and relevant laws – in the light of objectives and demands of January 25th and June 30th Revolutions.”

Konsowa emphasized that he does not belong to any existing established party, but instead belongs to “the comprehensive mainstream of the Egyptian people.”

He further explained how the strength and unity of the nation and its military are not controversial issues for him, but are his primary focus.

He stated that policies which are “inappropriate, counterproductive and outdated” fuel extremism and discontent in Egypt.

Konsowa said that, following his video statement, he would announce his envisioned road-map for the upcoming presidential term “for the sake of an equitable, scientifically advanced, independent, and fully sovereign Egypt.”

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has not yet announced his candidacy for next year’s elections. However, he is widely expected to run for a second term.

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