Egypt’s army chief Sisi resigns ahead of presidential bid

Egypt's former defence minister and army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
Egypt’s former defence minister and army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Egypt’s defence minister and armed forces chief has resigned and will run for president.

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who led the military coup that overthrew President Mohamed Morsi last July and is considered by many people as the one responsible for the deaths of more than 600 Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters during the massacre at Rabaa al-Adawiya Square in Cairo, tendered his resignation on Wednesday.

“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.

Following Sisi’s announcement, there were protests by supporters of Morsi on the streets of the capital Cairo.

Sisi’s decision came amid reports that one person had been killed during protests against Monday’s court verdict that sentenced more than 500 alleged Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death.

No date has yet been set for the presidential election, but media reports say Sisi is expected to win the vote easily.

Sisi was appointed as the general commander of the armed forces and defense minister by the country’s ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, back in 2012. Months later though he played a key role in masterminding Morsi’s downfall following a wave of protests, mostly by secularists.

General Sedki Sobhi, who holds the post of chief of staff, is expected to replace Sisi as army chief and defence minister.

Source: The Spring and agencies

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