Egypt’s powerful army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsy, looked set to run for presidency after the army on Monday backed his bid for the top post.
The army mandated his presidential bid, hours after interim president Adly Mansour issued a presidential decree promoting 59-year-old Sisi to the rank of Field Marshal, the highest in the military. Egypt’s army rarely promotes senior officers to the rank of a field marshal.
“The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces by consensus mandated the Defence Minister [Sisi] to stand in presidential elections,” state-run MENA news agency reported.
Mr. Sisi’s popularity soared after July last year, when he announced the ouster of Mr. Morsy amid nationwide mass protests against the Islamist president’s troubled one-year rule. As a result, a number of campaigns have sprung up to pressure Sisi to run for the presidency in the upcoming elections due by the end of April.
Mr. Sisi is tipped to easily win in the polls with no serious rivals.