Military spokesperson says Sisi will not run for president

 
 
Military Spokesperson Ahmed Mohamed Ali spoke on behalf of the armed forces that Defense Minister abdel Fattah al-Sisi has more than once denied any intentions to run for presidency.
 
Ali said that campaigns gathering signatures to nominate Sisi were a result of "popular feelings that cannot be prevented."
 
In an interview on the privately-owned Al-Arabiya TV channel, Ali said armed forces would not nominate or support a specific candidate. He emphasized that Sami Anan and Ahmed Shafiq, former presidential hopeful, are Egyptian citizens who have the freedom to stand for elections. Both Anan and Shafiq are prominent members of the military.
 
Al-Arabiya website said that the complete interview will be aired on TV on Sunday at 4 PM Cairo time.
 
Regarding the military's role if violence were to erupt in universities and a need for intervention arose by the beginning of the new year, Ali said, “We cannot intervene without a decision issued by the president or an official government request to preserve national security and protect lives. In that case, we will not be late.”
 
When asked about the campaign demanding Sisi run for president, Ali said, “All such issues stems from patriotic feelings. However, Sisi assured more than once that he values protecting the people’s will over ruling Egypt and that he is not considering running for president. He said that leading the military is his highest ambition.”
 
“The military has a fixed stance, which is to not nominate anyone for presidency. It [the military] will not interfere in politics through supporting specific presidential candidates,” he added.
 
When asked about the increasing rate of tunnels to Gaza being destroyed in Sinai, Ali said, “We were working throughout the past year under limitations set by the previous administration. Since operations began in Sinai on August 7, we have destroyed more than 300 tunnels and another 142, which in total represents close to 80-90 percent of the known number [of tunnels]. We are still looking for more tunnels.”
 
“The United States provided us with devices to reveal such tunnels in the past [under the rule of Hosni Mubarak]. We are still using them. No coordination is taking place with Washington currently,” he added.
 
Concerning ongoing coordination with Israel on regional issues, Ali said, “This issue [of coordination with Israel] was organized by a [previous] security agreement which established communication between the two countries.”
 
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm