CAIRO: Minister of Defense Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is expected to announce his resignation on Wednesday evening, paving the way to run for president, high rank sources informed Youm7 on March 26.
The announcement is pending until interim President Adly Mansour returns from the Arab League summit in Kuwait, Youm7 reported. Sisi would also be expected to announce a new minister if he decides to resign.
Sisi conducted a Cabinet reshuffle in the Armed Forces and the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) on March 17, but the military claimed the changes were not politically driven, media reported.
Sisi has been viewed as “a national hero” by the masses following the ousting of former President Mohamed Morsi. Several unofficial organized campaigns began preparing to support him as a presidential candidate and urged him to run for elections.
Tamarod Movement, which partly organized the anti-Morsi protests on June 30, decided to support Sisi as president, co-founder Mahmoud Badr announced in February. The movement also announced a campaign in governorates collecting petitions to endorse Sisi in early March.
Kammel Gemeelak campaign was the most popular because it started demanding Sisi to run for president then expanded into a supporting campaign. In January, the campaign claimed that 25 million Egyptians signed a petition in favor of Sisi.
The door for presidential candidacy is not open yet and the exact date is expected to be announced by the Presidential Election Commission on March 30. Head of the Current Popular Party Hamdeen Sabbahi is the only candidate who has announced in February his intention to run for president “against Sisi.”
Baseera Egyptian Center for public opinion research a survey conducted among Egyptians in March, which showed that 51 percent of Egyptians are going to vote for Sisi in the upcoming presidential elections if he runs for president. The other 45 percent of Egyptians have not decided yet and only 1 percent intend to vote for Hamdeen Sabbahi.
There was news about other candidates who intended to run for the elections, a human rights lawyer including Khaled Ali, former SCAF deputy head Sami Anan, and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq. They all backed out amid claims that there would be no transparency in the upcoming elections.
Political parties are divided between the two potential candidates, Sisi and Sabbahi.
Additional reporting by Mohamed Ahmed Tantawy, Zaky al-Kady, and Reham el-Masry.