Abdel Fatah al-Sisi cleared to stand as candidate in presidential elections, hours after promotion to military’s highest rank
By The Guardian,
Egypt’s military council has cleared army leader Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to run for the presidency.
Sisi has been discussed as a potential head of state ever since he ousted Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, last July, and replaced him with a judge, Adly Mansour.
The country’s official news agency said Mena reported that an official announcement by Sisi of his candidacy could take place “within hours”.
Earlier on Monday Sisi was promoted to field marshal – the military’s highest rank. One senior military source told the Guardian that the symbolism of the appointment could be a show of appreciation or a signal that Sisi was about to resign in order to run. Promotions sometimes foreshadow resignations in Egyptian military circles.
“He would have to resign to run, of course,” the officer said. “And my expectation is that he will go for it because most of the public would be depressed if he did not – they don’t see any other civilian candidates.”
Hundreds of thousands of Sisi supporters filled Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Sunday to call for the then-general to run.
Public sentiment is hard to quantify in Egypt. Over 98% of participants voted for Egypt’s new constitution this month, a sign of strong support for Sisi. But only 38.6% of voters took part.
A Zogby poll from September suggested Egypt was roughly split on Sisi’s decision to topple Morsi last July, following days of mass protests.
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