Cairo, March 27 (IANS) Egypt’s defence minister and armed forces chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisiannounced in a televised statement Wednesday night his bid for the upcoming presidential election, the media reported.
“This is the last time to appear before you in the military uniform,” Sisi was quoted as saying by Xinhua. “I decided to resign from my post as a military chief and defence minister.”
“I modestly announce to you my bid to run for the presidential elections,” he said, noting that he put on his military uniform for Egypt and took it off for Egypt.
Sisi, who toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last July, made the announcement after a lengthy meeting Wednesday with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces held in the presence of interim President Adli Mansour.
Earlier, quoting a military source the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper said that Sisi was expected to announce the decision in a statement.
News of Sisi’s resignation came amid reports that one person had been killed during protests against Monday’s court verdict that sentenced more than 500 alleged Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death. At least 30 people were wounded in the protests, according to Al Jazeera.
The army deposed Morsi last year after mass protests against his rule and Sisi is widely expected to win the election. He was required to resign as defence minister and from the army to contest the election.
Sisi, 59, is popular among Egyptians who supported the army’s decision to remove Morsi from power one year into his term.
But he is reviled by pro-Muslim Brotherhood opposition which sees him as the mastermind of a coup against an elected leader and the author of a crackdown on dissent.