Egypt’s Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt’s interim president Adly Mansour issued a presidential decree on Monday promoting General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, the army chief and minister of defence, to the rank of Field Marshal.
Until his appointment as minister of defence by deposed president Mohamed Morsi in August 2012, El-Sisi had been serving as head of military intelligence since 2010.
His popularity soared a year later when, on 3 July 2013, he announced the ouster of Morsi amid nationwide mass protests against the Islamist president’s troubled one-year rule.
As a result, a number of campaigns have sprung up to pressure the general to run for the presidency at the upcoming elections.
While he had initially announced he would not seek power, El-Sisi has more recently said the possibility is open.
On Sunday, Mansour announced that presidential elections will be held before parliamentary polls — an amendment to the transitional roadmap which was agreed upon by various political forces on 3 July.
According to Mansour’s decree, the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission (SPEC) should begin procedures to hold the polls in no less than 30 days and no more than 90 days following the successful passage of the country’s newly-amended constitution.
The constitution was put into effect on 18 January — after a two-day referendum on 14-15 January which yielded an overwhelming 98.1 percent majority approval of the charter.
Accordingly, the presidential polls should take place between 17 February and 18 April.
On Saturday, tens of thousands converged to Tahrir square and elsewhere in the country to celebrate the third anniversary fo the January 25 revolution. Thousands carried banners and posters urging army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to run for the presidency.