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Sisi: Protecting Egypt is my only aim

The Egyptian army chief has not yet made a definitive statement as to whether he will run in the upcoming presidential elections

Published: Updated:

Army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said the Egyptian Armed forces have no aspirations except protecting Egypt and its stability, countering speculations that he would run in the upcoming presidential elections.

Speaking during a seminar at an affiliate military department on Monday, Sisi said: “We are a national honorable army, always approaching construction, development and reform, and we have no aspiration but to protect Egypt and its stability.”

Sisi, who led the overthrow of President Mohammad Mursi last July, also called for moving forward by completing a new constitution and holding parliamentary and presidential elections.

In an interview last week, however, Sisi did not rule out the possibility he might run for presidency.

Asked by the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Seyassah whether he would run for president, Sisi said: “Would that satisfy all the people? Would that satisfy some of the foreign powers, and does this mean working to find solutions for Egypt’s problems? In any case, let’s see what the days bring.”

Though the election is expected to take place in around six months, none of the politicians defeated by Mursi in last year’s election have declared their candidacy this time around.

Meanwhile, Sisi has not definitively stated his intentions.

It is widely assumed Sisi would win an election, meaning the presidency would once again be controlled by the military establishment that dominated state affairs for decades after the army overthrew the monarchy in 1952.

Sisi, 59, deposed the Islamist Mursi in July following mass protests against his rule. He has since emerged as a popular figure in the country.

(With Reuters)