Nation & World News

Egypt’s El-Sissi Promoted, Military Says He Should Run For President

By Mark Memmott on January 27th, 2014

Update at 1:53 p.m. ET. El-Sissi Should Run For President:

NPR’s Leila Fadel sends us this update from Cairo:

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces says that Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi should heed the calls of the people to run for president and that el-Sissi is free act as his conscience guides him. El-Sissi hasn’t explicitly declared but what is clear is he will run for president.

This is no surprise, as the military has a made a move to cement its control of the country ever since President Mohammed Morsi was removed from office last July.

Presidential elections are set for April.

Our Original Post Continues:

The much-anticipated announcement from Egypt’s top army officer that he will seek that nation’s presidency appears more likely than ever after this news from Cairo:

“Egypt’s army chief, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who led last summer’s coup ousting the Islamist president, inched closer to running for the country’s top position on Monday, receiving a promotion to the military’s highest rank and meeting with top commanders to discuss a possible presidential bid.” (The Associated Press)

Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mansour, promoted el-Sissi from the post of general to that of field marshal.

Egypt’s military removed President Mohammed Morsi from office last July, after several weeks of protests in the streets from Egyptians who weren’t happy with Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood party. Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, had only been in office about a year. His election to the post followed, of course, the February 2011 toppling of President Hosni Mubarak’s regime in the early days of the Arab Spring.

NPR’s Leila Fadel reports from Cairo that word of el-Sissi’s promotion has been followed by a report from Egypt’s state news agency that the military has given him the OK to run for president. As she adds in a report for our Newscast Desk:

“It’s no surprise that el-Sissi is about to announce that he will run for president. Egyptians have expected it for months and the third anniversary of Egypt’s uprising turned into a mandate day for the military chief.

“His face is on chocolates at cafes, and his posters hang on storefronts across the capital. Over the weekend it was made clear that you either support the military or your deemed a traitor.

“But analysts say the military may be overreaching as el-Sissi shoots for the top job in a country mired in problems, including a battered economy, clogged streets, a low-level insurgency and a corrupt bureaucratic system. Those are problems that haven’t been solved and that have made Egyptians angry enough to overthrow past leaders.”

But “if el-Sissi runs in the elections due by the end of April,” the AP says, “he would likely sweep the vote, given his popularity among a significant sector of the public, the lack of alternatives, the almost universal support in Egypt’s media and the powerful atmosphere of intimidation against any criticism of the general in the country.”

Correction at 1:53 p.m. ET. Military Statement:

An earlier version of this post noted that el-Sissi had announced that he was running for president. He has not explicitly declared that, but the military has now opened the door for that possibility. We’ve updated the top of this post to reflect that.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

St. Louis Rams draft pick Michael Sam watches pregame festivities before the start of the South Dakota State-Missouri NCAA college football game on Saturday, in Columbia, Mo. Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team, was released by the St. Louis Rams Saturday.

Michael Sam, First Openly Gay NFL Draft, Is Dropped By Rams

The former Missouri defensive end was edged out in a competition against undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks for a spot on St. Louis’ roster.


A member of the Lesotho military looks on as he stands guard in front of an armed personnel carrier at the entrance of the army barracks in the capital Maseru on Saturday. Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has accused the army of staging a coup.

South Africa Condemns Apparent Coup In Lesotho

Early Saturday, soldiers in the tiny kingdom completely surrounded by South Africa took to the streets amid gunfire, forcing the prime minister to flee. The army has denied a takeover.


Smoke rises near a Syrian flag hoisted up a flagpole as a result of the fighting between Syrian rebels and the Syrian Army over the control of Quneitra crossing, on Saturday. The area is where  dozens of U.N. peacekeepers had been under siege by Nusra Front fighters.

U.N. Peacekeepers Rescued After Being Trapped By Syrian Militants

Dozens of blue-helmeted Filipino soldiers were extracted after a firefight with militants on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.


Nicaraguan Miners Trapped After Collapse

Four miners remain trapped after 22 others were rescued at a gold and silver mine near the south central city of Bonanza.


An Oct. 28, 1985 photo of John A. Walker, Jr., being escorted by a federal marshal as he leaves the Montgomery County Detention Center in Rockville, Md., enroute to a federal court in Baltimore. He was ultimately sentenced to life in prison on espionage charges.

John Walker Jr., Cold War Spy For Soviets, Dies At 77

The U.S. Navy warrant officer recruited his son, his brother and a friend to help him steal and sell classified message keys to the USSR over a 17-year period.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments