Egypt's military implores Sisi to run for president

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Published Monday, January 27, 2014

Updated 8:34 pm: Egypt's top military council said on Monday its commander Abdel Fattah al-Sisi should heed calls to stand in a presidential election.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said in a statement "the people's trust in Sisi is a call that must be heeded as the free choice of the people."

The statement said Sisi had thanked the military leadership for allowing him "the right to respond to the call of duty."

Sisi, the general behind the ouster in July of Egypt's first democratically elected president, the Islamist Mohamed Mursi, would have to give up his military uniform to stand for election.

The presidential election is set to take place by mid-April, and will be followed by a parliamentary poll to restore democratic government by 2015, according to a new constitution.

The council earlier on Monday gave Sisi the green light to run for the presidency.

Sisi, who will resign from the army to stand for office, is tipped to easily win a presidential election due to be held by mid-April, with no serious rivals.

Sisi was promoted to the rank of field marshal, the highest in the military, Monday morning by the military-installed presidency.

"Interim president Adly Mansour issued a presidential decree promoting General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, minister of defense, to the rank of field marshal," said the statement.

(AFP, Reuters)

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