Egypt military council mandates Sisi presidency bid

Cairo, Jan 28: The Egyptian Supreme Council for Armed Forces (SCAF) Monday has allowed Defence Minister and Army Chief Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to run for president, official news agency MENA and state-run Ahram website reported.

The council also accepted al-Sisi’s resignation from the military’s governing body, Xinhua quoted MENA as saying in a report.

After a newly-amended constitution was approved in a referendum, interim President Adly Mansour announced that presidential elections would come before parliamentary elections, ordering the Election Commission to start procedures within 90 days, a period of time which some critics say is too short for other candidates to create competitive campaigns.

The constitution also stipulates that only a civilian can run for the presidential post, which means Sisi has to resign from his post as a defence minister and from the military.

The council unanimously decided to nominate al-Sisi for the bid and elected Sobhy Saleh, another member of the council, to replace him.

Sisi, who was appointed by the ousted president Mohamed Morsi as the defence minister and chief of the army, overthrew the Islamist president July 3 last year in response to the nationwide protests against Morsi’s one-year rule.

Since then, Sisi has enjoyed a surge in popularity among the Egyptians, while dozens of campaigns have been launched to push the army leader to run for president.

However, no one has yet formally announced a president bid.