Skip to main content

Egypt's military OKs Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi for presidential run

By Salma Abdelaziz and Jason Hanna, CNN
January 28, 2014 -- Updated 1256 GMT (2056 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Military council says choice is El-Sisi's, but it highly encourages his candidacy
  • Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi is expected to announce soon whether he'll run
  • The army chief was defense minister when the military ousted President Morsy last year
  • Candidates can officially declare themselves next month

(CNN) -- Egypt's military leadership council on Monday gave Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi -- the army chief who helped oust the country's first democratically elected president -- its blessing to run for the presidency, the state-run Middle East News Agency reported.

El-Sisi has yet to announce whether he'll run, but the move by Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces essentially is an endorsement of him, said Ehab Badawy, a spokesman for Egyptian Interim President Adly Mansour.

The council added in a statement to state television Monday night that it would be up to El-Sisi to decide, but that it considers his candidacy "a mandate and an obligation."

Badawy said that El-Sisi, who was promoted from general to field marshal earlier Monday, would have to retire from the military before running for president. The interim government has not given a date for elections; candidates can officially declare themselves on February 18.

Thousands of Egyptians gather in Cairo's Tahrir Square during a rally marking the anniversary of the 2011 Arab Spring uprising on Saturday, January 25. A spate of deadly bombings put Egyptian police on edge as supporters and opponents of the military-installed government take part in rival rallies for the anniversary. Thousands of Egyptians gather in Cairo's Tahrir Square during a rally marking the anniversary of the 2011 Arab Spring uprising on Saturday, January 25. A spate of deadly bombings put Egyptian police on edge as supporters and opponents of the military-installed government take part in rival rallies for the anniversary.
Egyptians mark anniversary of Arab Spring uprising
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
>
>>
Photos: Egyptians mark anniversary of Arab Spring uprising Photos: Egyptians mark anniversary of Arab Spring uprising
Clashes erupt at Egypt protests
Al Jazeera jailed journalists

El-Sisi, who was defense minister when the military ousted President Mohamed Morsy in July, had said he would run for president if the Egyptian people wanted him to, state media reported recently.

The Arab world's most populous nation has seen months of political turmoil since the military deposed Morsy, of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement, on July 3 after mass protests against his rule. Demonstrators accused him of pursuing an Islamist agenda and excluding other factions from the government.

An interim, military-backed government was installed in Morsy's place, but Morsy's supporters have held near-daily protests since his ouster, demanding that he be reinstated. The protests often have devolved into violence.

This month, Egyptians overwhelmingly approved a new constitution, with 98.1% in favor, the Electoral Commission said. But supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, which the interim government banned late last year, boycotted the referendum in response to the crackdown against it.

Morsy was elected in 2012, a year after a popular uprising ousted longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak. Morsy's supporters say that he wasn't given a fair chance and that the military has returned to the authoritarian practices of Mubarak.

READ: Egypt to have presidential elections first

READ: Some Egyptian diplomats abducted in Libya reportedly released

CNN's Reza Sayah, Marie-Louise Gumuchian and Yousuf Basil contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Egypt
Visit CNN Arabic for full election news and updates in Arabic.
May 26, 2014 -- Updated 1650 GMT (0050 HKT)
CNN's Reza Sayah explains Egypt's presidential election.
May 26, 2014 -- Updated 1655 GMT (0055 HKT)
Minute changes by Egypt's next leader may not be sufficient to bring genuine stability, writes H.A. Hellyer.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0359 GMT (1159 HKT)
Supporters of Egyptian leftist presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi (portrait) attend a campaign meeting in Cairo.
Both presidential candidates have made lofty promises. But has either offered specifics on how the economy?
June 8, 2014 -- Updated 0806 GMT (1606 HKT)
CNN's Reza Sayah profiles the leading contender in Egypt's presidential election, ex army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0809 GMT (1609 HKT)
Hamdeen Sabahi is considered a heavy underdog in the race for Egypt's presidency, but he's sure he's going to win.
May 21, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
A court in Cairo sentences ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to three years in prison for embezzlement.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1722 GMT (0122 HKT)
An Egyptian man waits for tourists to take them on camel rides at the Giza pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo on February 14, 2011.
Instead of focusing on antiquities, Egypt's new "We miss you" video features dancers, malls and ritzy hotels.
May 8, 2014 -- Updated 1514 GMT (2314 HKT)
Former Arab League head Amre Moussa says presidential favorite Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is right to stand up to "terrorists."
May 8, 2014 -- Updated 1250 GMT (2050 HKT)
Can music heal the rift of revolution and conflict in Egypt? CNN's Reza Sayah meets the Egyptian band trying.
May 6, 2014 -- Updated 2120 GMT (0520 HKT)
Egypt's former military chief doesn't mince words when he describes what would happen if he wins the presidency.
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 0937 GMT (1737 HKT)
Are threats of sexual violence an everyday reality for women in Cairo?
March 24, 2014 -- Updated 1641 GMT (0041 HKT)
Interim Egyptian President Adly Mansour sends letter to the family of jailed Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy.
March 9, 2014 -- Updated 1630 GMT (0030 HKT)
CNN's Sara Sidner talks about stepping in for Al Jazeera reporters since they have been barred from working in Egypt.
March 15, 2014 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
How are the Arab Spring nations faring? What successes can they boast and what challenges await?
ADVERTISEMENT