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Report: Sisi to announce presidential bid within 72 hours
By Ariel Ben Solomon,REUTERS
27/01/2014
Egypt's military council green lights Sisi to run for president; Egypt presidential elections may be held in April.
 
Judicial sources from the High Elections Commission said that Egyptian presidential elections are likely to be held in mid to late April.

Regarding the possibility that army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will run for president, he should resign before the High Elections Commission calls on voters to go to the polls, the sources said according to the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masri Al-Youm on Sunday.

Egypt's military council has given the army chief, Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a green light to run for president, a security source told Reuters.

"The top army officials all okayed Sisi running for the presidency," said the source. Sisi is expected to announce his candidacy within days.

Sisi deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July, triggering political upheaval and street violence in the Arab world's most populous nation.

Since then he has become hugely popular among Egyptians, who see him as a decisive figure who can stabilize the country which has lurched from one crisis to another since a popular uprising toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Hours before the top generals approved Sisi contesting the election, the presidency announced he had been promoted to field marshal from general, in what security officials said was a sign he is about to declare his candidacy for the presidency.

"The decision was expected and it is the first step before the resignation of the general and his candidacy announcement which is now expected very soon," said a security official.

On Sunday, Interim President Adly Mansour issued a decree, stating that presidential elections would be held before parliamentary ones, chaining the political roadmap set out by the interim government.

Sisi is set to announce his candidacy in the next 72 hours, likely on Wednesday, the Saudi newspaper Okaz reported.

Separately, Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef, whose program was taking off the air for criticizing the new interim government, is set for his show to return as early as February, according to sources quoted by Al-Masry Al-Youm on Sunday. He signed a contract after  two months of negotiations during which he held several meetings in the United Arab Emirates.
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