.
.
.
.

Will he, won’t he? Sisi hints at presidency bid

The Egyptian army chief has given his clearest indication yet that he will run for president

Published: Updated:

The drama continues to unfold in Egypt as Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi gave the clearest indication yet that he will run for president.

Keeping the Egyptian public on the edge of their seats, Sisi still hasn't given away whether he's given a clear nod to enter the race -- but he did say he cannot ignore the demands of the "majority," the state news agency reported.

A cliffhanger moment ensued. Sisi said that "official procedures" concerning his candidacy were expected in the coming days.

Earlier on Tuesday, Egyptian media was rife with speculation that Sisi was to announce his candidacy during his speech at the Cairo military academy.

He is widely tipped to win the vote if he runs for presidency.

In his speech, Sisi said Egypt was witnessing difficult times that required the unity of the people, army and police, according to the state news agency MENA.

Last week, Sisi remained defense minister in a newly sworn-in cabinet. The army chief has emerged as Egypt's most popular political figure since leading the ouster of Islamist president Mohammad Morsi in July.

His aides say he has already decided to stand in the election scheduled for the spring. In order to do so, Sisi must first step down as defense minister and army chief.

Last week, one of his aides told Agence France-Presse that Sisi is expected to stay on as defense minister until an electoral law has been passed.

During Sisi’s visit to Moscow last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin threw his weight behind Sisi’s presidential bid by voicing hope that ties would strengthen after the election.