Egypt's Sisi resigns as Defence Minister to run for president

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Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi
Cairo, Mar 26: Egypt's army chief Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi today resigned as Defence Minister to run for president in an election he is expected to win easily.

Field Marshal Sisi, 59, called a meeting of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAP) to submit his resignation. In a televised statement, Sisi said that he has resigned from the army and intends to run for the country's presidency. Sisi has been expected to run for the presidency ever since he overthrew President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, who appointed him, last July, thus cementing his position as the country's new political force.

SCAF, in a statement earlier had stated that it welcomed "the people's demands for Al-Sisi to run for President". The Egyptian army's Chief of Staff Sedki Sobhi has been promoted by interim President Adly Mansour to the rank of colonel general, a title that has historically been held only by Egyptian defence ministers, according to state-run TV.

It was originally thought that Sisi would announce his candidature immediately after the constitutional referendum in January that put into effect military-backed regime's "road-map to democracy", with both presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled by the the summer. Sisi faces no serious competition in the upcoming election, likely before June, and is expected to easily win the poll riding on a wave of popularity.


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