Egypt's army chief: I'll run for president

2014-02-06 09:23
Egyptian Defence Minister Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi salutes during a ceremony at the Ministry of Defence in Cairo. (Jim Watson, AP/Pool, File)

Egyptian Defence Minister Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi salutes during a ceremony at the Ministry of Defence in Cairo. (Jim Watson, AP/Pool, File)

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Kuwait City - Egypt's top military commander Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in comments published in Kuwait Thursday that he has decided to run in the presidential election scheduled for April.

"Yes, the matter has been decided and I have no choice but to respond to the call of the Egyptian people," Sisi told Kuwait's Al-Seyassah newspaper when asked if he has decided to run for presidency.

"The call [of the people] has been heard everywhere and I will not reject it. I will seek a renewal of confidence of the people through free voting," Sisi said in the interview.

Sisi's announcement comes a week after the country's top military council decided that he must run for the presidency which he is assured to win after ousting the democratically elected leader in July.

Sisi, wildly popular for overthrowing Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, is now expected to resign as army chief before he officially becomes a candidate in the election scheduled to be held by mid-April.

The army's decision came after a weekend in which dozens were killed in street clashes between Morsi's supporters and police and militant attacks, underscoring the difficulties Sisi will face.

An Egyptian court on Wednesday adjourned Morsi's murder trial to 1 March, to review video evidence against the Islamist.

Morsi and 14 co-defendants, some of them former aides, are charged with inciting the killings of opposition protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012.

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