Egypt army backs Sisi's presidential bid after promotion
CAIRO - Agence France-Presse
The presidency announced General Sisi's promotion without giving details. REUTERS PhotoEgypt's military on Jan. 27 backed a presidential bid by its commander Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who overthrew former president Mohamed Morsi, state media reported.
Sisi, who will resign from the army to stand for office, is tipped to easily win a presidential election due to be held by mid-April, with no serious rivals.
"The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces by consensus mandated the defence minister (Sisi) to stand in presidential elections," the official MENA news agency reported.
Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president, had appointed Sisi as his defence minister in 2012. The army chief deposed the president in July after millions took to the streets demanding the Islamist's resignation, after a turbulent year in power.
Shortly earlier, Sisi was promoted to the rank of field marshal, in what security officials said was a sign he is about to declare his candidacy for the presidency.
The presidency announced General Sisi's promotion without giving details.
"The decision was expected and it is the first step before the resignation of the general and his candidacy announcement which is now expected very soon," said a security official.
Sisi, who toppled elected president Mohamed Mursi last year, is widely expected to contest the election due within six months, and win easily.
Sisi has become hugely popular since the military takeover. Supporters see him as a decisive figure who can tackle unrest that has gripped Egypt since the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.