Egypt’s Army spokesman, Colonel Ahmed Ali, said that the military will not nominate or support any candidate for the presidency, as popular calls increase for army Commander-in-Chief General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to run for the position.
Ali said, in a yet-to-be-aired interview with the Saudi-owned pan-Arab TV channel Al-Arabiya, that El-Sisi has denied “more than once” that he will run for president, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported.
The full interview is expected to be broadcast on Al-Arabiya at six o’clock in the evening, Cairo time.
El-Sisi has garnered wide support following the army’s deposition of former president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July amid mass protests against him. Popular calls have emerged recently, calling on El-Sisi to run in the upcoming presidential elections.
Ali reportedly said that such calls are a “popular sentiment that cannot be stopped.” He made clear that the military is firmly against “intervening in politics.”
However, El-Sisi has not been the only military name suggested for the presidency.
According to Ahram, Ali said in the interview that retired former chief-of-staff Sami Anan is an "Egyptian citizen who is free to run for elections." News recently spread on social media that Anan would run for president. However, Anan denied these claims to state news agency MENA on Saturday.
Ali also said Ahmed Shafiq, ex-prime minister and former senior commander in the Air Force who ran for presidency in 2012, has the right to run if he wishes. Shafiq said earlier in September that he would not run for president again if El-Sisi joins the race.