Former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq says he will back army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for president in an election expected next year, adding to speculation that the man who led the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi could become head of state.
Shafiq, a former air force commander who came second in last year’s presidential election, said he would not run if Sisi did.
Sisi has said he does not seek authority though speculation he will run has mounted since he toppled the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi from the presidency on July 3. Sisi is widely expected to win if he runs.
In an interview with Dream 2 television station, Shafiq said he would run for president if he had broad support but he would not contest an election if Sisi did.
“May God give him good fortune. We would all support him and I am the first one to support him,” said Shafiq. “If Sisi is nominated I will not run.”
Hamdeen Sabahi, a leftist politician who came third in the 2012 election, has also said Sisi would win, while sidestepping questions on his own intentions.
The Brotherhood has accused Sisi of trying to rehabilitate the old order that ran Egypt for 30 years under Mubarak.