Egypt’s armed forces chief, Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has said he cannot ignore calls by the majority for him to run for president.
“I cannot turn my back when the majority wants me to run for president,” El-Sisi said in a speech at a graduation ceremony at the Cairo war college.
He told journalists “official procedures” regarding his candidacy were expected in the coming days, Egypt’s state news agency reports.
It is the clearest indication yet that he will stand in the election which is scheduled to take place by mid-April.
He led the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi in July.
Most Egyptians regard him as a decisive figure who can end the political turmoil that has gripped Egypt since a popular uprising backed by the military toppled autocratic president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
The field marshal has been widely expected to resign and declare a presidential bid since the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) gave its public support at the end of January.
In his speech, Sisi said Egypt was witnessing difficult times that required the unity of the people, army and police, according to the state news agency MENA.
Source: Reuters, BBC, and MENA