Egyptian Interim President Adly Mansour hinted Sunday that the country's army chief, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, is still deciding whether or not to run for the presidency amid the soaring popularity of the general following Mohamed Morsi's ouster.
Egypt's Mansour hints army chief 'hasn't decided yet' whether to run for presidency
Tuesday ,24 December 2013
Mansour, in a meeting Sunday with dozens of political figures in Cairo to discuss the post-Morsi roadmap, urged attendees not to focus their efforts on "one certain person" whom they want to see as president, because "this person has not yet made his decision and he might eventually decide not to run."
El-Sisi, who is also defence minister, announced the removal of Mohamed Morsi from the presidency in July after mass protests against the elected Islamist leader. The military chief's popularity rocketed in the months following Morsi's ouster, with many Egyptians hailing him for ending Morsi's rule.
While he had initially announced that he would not seek power, El-Sisi has more recently said that the possibility of running for office is open.
A number of campaigns have sprung up recently to pressure the general to run for the presidency in the upcoming presidential elections, expected in the first half of 2014.
Also in Sunday's meeting, Mansour carried out a poll among attendees to gather their votes on whether to hold presidential or parliamentary elections first. The post-Morsi roadmap announced by El-Sisi in July put parliamentary elections first.
Khaled Dawoud, spokesman of liberal Constitution Party, told Ahram Online that the poll revealed 72 votes in favour of holding presidential elections first against 12 votes for holding parliamentary polls first.
Dawoud added that those who voted for parliamentary elections to be held first feared that reversing the order would be deemed unconstitutional, given that the initial announcement of the roadmap dictated parliamentary elections be held first.
The first milestone in the post-Morsi roadmap, a referendum on the amended 2012 Constitution, was recently scheduled by Mansour for 14-15 January 2014.