Military spokesperson denies Sisi’s intentions to run for presidency

Defence Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is proud to lead Egypt's armed forces and has no intention to run for the presidency, according to military spokesperson Ahmed Mohamed Ali.

 

The statement comes after an English-language Daily News Egypt article ran an interview with Ali on Thursday, sparking controversy that Sisi might plan on running for president in the future.

 

“The general commander of armed forces is proud of his leadership of the institution," Ali said on Facebook. "He is glad of the role it has played, and is still playing, to secure national security."

 

"It’s enough for him to see such unprecedented unity among Egyptians and its armed forces. He doesn’t want more."

Ali referred that news circulated by media over Sisi’s nomination is untrue and that neither Sisi nor armed forces referred to this. “Armed forces call on all media channels to stick to accuracy regarding what has been circulated during such critical period of our history.”

During the Daily News Egypt (DNE) interview on Thursday, Ali had said: "He is currently a soldier in the armed forces and does not aspire to any other role. But assuming that he retired and people suggested he run for presidency, is not this the democratic process? Or will we say the military institution [is behind it] again?"

On Friday, DNE published a clarification on the matter, denying rampant speculation that Ali was implicitly suggesting Sisi might run for president.

"What Colonel Ali was explaining is that the military institute does not control who runs for the presidential election even if he was ex-military. Colonel Ali was adamant about this point; the military institute is keeping clear from the political life," it said.

During the original interview, Ali had stressed that the army want not looking for a role in Egyptian political life.

The military had decided not to be part of the political process, he claimed, because it’s primary role is to preserve national security.

Ali admitted the decision to overthrow Mohamed Morsy as Egyptian president "wasn't easy," but that clear divisions over Morsy's November 2012 Constitutional Declaration and the deaths of protesters had formed during the president's first year in power.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm