Sisi declares presidential candidacy, resigns as Egypt army chief

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An image grab taken from Egyptian state television Al-Masriya on March 26, 2014 shows Egypt's Defense Minister and armed forces chief General Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi announcing his resignation from his military position to stand in the upcoming Egyptian presidential elections during a televised address in Cairo. (Photo: AFP / Al-Masriya)

Published Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Updated 9:45 pm: Egypt's army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Wednesday he had he quit the military to run for president, in a widely anticipated move almost nine months after he toppled the elected leader.

In a televised statement, Sisi said he could not "perform miracles" and called on Egyptians to work hard to improve their country.

The 59-year old who deposed President Mohammed Mursi last year also said Egypt was threatened by terrorists and he would work to make a country "free of fear."

Sisi, who was also defense minister, faces no serious competition in the upcoming election, likely before June, and is expected to easily win the poll.

Sisi had earlier met with military leaders on Wednesday to discuss his move, the state-run al-Ahram newspaper reported on its website.

According to Egyptian regulations, Sisi must resign from the army before standing in the election.

Since Sisi overthrew Mursi, the army has come down hard on Muslim Brotherhood, branding it a terrorist organization and sentencing hundreds of its members to the death penalty.

The army-installed government has also severely restricted all demonstrations.

The authorities have yet to set a date for the presidential election. Leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, who came third in the 2012 election, is so far the only candidate to have stated his intention to run.

General Sedki Sobhi, who holds the post of chief of staff, is expected to replace Sisi as army chief and defense minister.

(Reuters, AFP, Al-Akhbar)


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