News / Middle East

Egypt's General Sisi Signals May Run for President

Turkish supporters of Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi hold portrait mocking General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during demonstration condemning deadly crackdown in Cairo, outside Egyptian embassy, Ankara, August 14, 2013.
Turkish supporters of Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi hold portrait mocking General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during demonstration condemning deadly crackdown in Cairo, outside Egyptian embassy, Ankara, August 14, 2013.
Reuters
Egypt's army chief General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi gave his clearest signal yet on Saturday of his interest in becoming president, a move that could turn the clock back to the days when the presidency was controlled by men from the military.
 
Sisi, who ousted Egypt's first democratically elected leader Mohamed Morsi last July after mass protests against his one-year rule, is widely expected to seek the top job but has not yet announced plans to run.
 
"If I run then it must be at the request of the people and with a mandate from my army. ... We work in a democracy," he said, speaking at an army seminar in Cairo.
 
After the army overthrew the Islamist Morsi, it appointed an interim president and outlined a roadmap for democratic transition.
 
Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood supporters, who accuse the army of staging a coup, have held frequent protests calling for his reinstatement. But the security forces have launched a wide crackdown against the group, arresting thousands on charges of violence.
 
Egypt is set to hold a referendum on a new constitution on January 14-15, a major milestone in that roadmap which will clear the way for presidential and parliamentary elections.
 
Analysts and politicians say it is unlikely that Sisi will announce plans to run before the referendum is complete.
 
'National responsibility'
 
The referendum marks the first time Egyptians have voted since Morsi's removal and is seen to be as much a public vote of confidence in the roadmap and Sisi as in the charter itself.
 
The state MENA news agency quoted Sisi on Saturday as urging Egyptians to "assume national responsibility and turn out in force to vote in the constitutional referendum in order to correct the democratic path and build a modern democratic state."
 
There is little doubt the popular Sisi would win the presidential election. He is seen as a strong man capable of bringing stability to Egypt after more than three years of turmoil.
 
He has had songs dedicated to him and his face appears on chocolates and posters on the streets of Egypt. While Sisi enjoys broad support from Egyptians who are happy to see an end to Islamist rule, he is reviled by Morsi's supporters who view him as the mastermind of a bloody military coup against the country's first freely elected head of state.
 
Sisi's candidacy would further deepen the divisions between the many Egyptians who believe a firm hand is needed to steer the country through crisis and Islamists bearing the brunt of a state crackdown on dissent.
 
Security forces have launched a massive crackdown against Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, which it calls a terrorist group, arresting its leaders and forcing others underground.
 
In an interview with pan-Arab newspaper Al Hayat on Saturday, the chairman of the constituent assembly which drafted the constitution said he expected Sisi to run for president in response to the popular demand.
 
"We must adhere to popular opinion [of] who wants the man and this is a commission for the man. There is no escape from that. ... The people say they want Sisi and we must submit to that," Amr Moussa told al Hayat.

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs