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Egypt says Sisi misquoted on presidential bid

Army spokesman says Kuwaiti newspaper misquoted al-Sisi, who will announce such a decision only to the Egyptian people.

Last updated: 06 Feb 2014 09:59
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Sisi was promoted to the rank of field marshal in January, fuelling speculation he was to run for president [Reuters]

Egypt's army has said that a Kuwaiti newspaper "misinterpreted" remarks by Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in which he said he would seek the presidency, saying he would only announce such a decision to the Egyptian people.

Kuwait newspaper Al-Seyassah ran an interview with Sisi on Thursday in which he was quoted as saying he would run in the presidential election due to be held before mid-April.

"What was published by the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Seyassah is nothing but journalistic interpretations that are not direct declarations from Field Marshal Sisi," army spokesman Colonel Ahmed Ali said in a statement.

Sisi's decision "to put forward his candidacy or not is a personal decision which he himself will take before the great Egyptian people, no one else, in clear direct words which will not be open to doubt or interpretation," Ali added in his statement.

Earlier on Thursday, Al-Seyassah newspaper published an interview with Egypt's defence minister, quoting him as saying he would run in the presidential elections, due to take place by mid-April.

"The decision has been made, and I have to succumb to the people's demand of running for the republic's presidency," the paper quoted Sisi as saying.

"I say it with all sincerity: God knows that I carry the burden of this trust, and I am all hopes that the achievements will match (their) dreams. It is no secret that people's aspirations and wishes have become massive after the recent disappointment," he added according to the newspaper.

The Kuwaiti report came a week after the country's top military body endorsed the candidacy of Sisi, who ousted democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi in July following massive protests against the Islamist leader.

It also comes after Interim President Adly Mansour issued a decree on January 26 stating that presidential elections could get started as early as mid-February and no later than April 18, following the approval of the country's newly-amended constitution.

With no obvious candidates so far competing in the race, if Sisi decides to run his chances of becoming the country’s next president are high.

If he wins, he will be the sixth army officer to rule Egypt since 1952, with Morsi being the only civilian to have filled the post.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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