Egypt’s army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi said Wednesday he had quit the military to run for president, in a widely anticipated move almost nine months after he toppled the elected leader, Mohammed Morsi.
Sissi, who was also defense minister, faces no serious competition in the upcoming election, likely before June, and is expected to easily win the poll riding on a wave of popularity.
He declared his candidacy in a televised address.
“Today, I stand before you for the last time in a military uniform, after deciding to end my service as defense minister and commander of the armed forces,” he said, dressed in his field marshal’s uniform, sitting behind a wooden desk.
“With all modesty, I nominate myself for the presidency of Egypt.
“I will continue to fight every day for an Egypt free of terrorism,” he added.
Sissi gathered his belongings in his defense ministry office before starting the meeting with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the official newspaper Al-Ahram reported on its website.