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

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid