Published On: Thu, Feb 6th, 2014

Egypt Army Chief Sisi To Run For President – Kuwait Newspaper

Egypt’s army chief Field Marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has said he will run for president, a Kuwaiti newspaper says.Asked by the al-Seyassah newspaper if he would be standing, the army chief said he had to meet the wishes of the Egyptian people and run for election.Marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sisi

He had been widely expected to declare his candidacy but there has been no official confirmation from the army.

The army leadership backed him to stand in the election last month, promoting him to the rank of field marshal.

Presidential elections in Egypt are due within six months.

Correspondents say Field Marshal Sisi is expected to win by a landslide if he does indeed become a candidate.

He is hugely popular in Egypt since the army removed Islamist President Mohammed Morsi last July, following mass protests.

Mr Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, is currently in detention and facing four separate trials.

“I will not reject the demand [of the people],” Field Marshal Sisi told al-Seyassah.

“I will present this to the Egyptian people to renew confidence through free voting.”

Thousands arrested

Mr Morsi and his political party, the Muslim Brotherhood, have accused the army of staging a coup.

In response, the army-backed interim government has declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation and arrested thousands of its members.

Last month, Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf) gave its approval for Field Marshal Sisi to run for the presidency, saying: “The people’s trust in Sisi is a call that must be heeded as the free choice of the people.”

The state-run al-Ahram newspaper said his chief-of-staff, Gen Sedky Sobhy, had been chosen to replace him as head of the armed forces.

Field Marshal Sisi’s supporters say he is a strong leader who can restore stability after years of unrest.

However, his critics say he is a military hardliner who is returning Egypt to the repression of the past.