Egypt’s top military leader, General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, has said that he would consider running for the presidency if it were "at the request of the people."
"If I run for presidency, it would be by the request of the people and by a mandate from my army, as we work within a democracy," El-Sisi, who is also defence minister, said at a lecture on Sunday, according to the state-run MENA agency.
A number of popular campaigns, including one called "By the Command of the People," have been set up to lobby for El-Sisi to run for the presidency in the upcoming elections, expected by mid-2014.
Some campaigns have suggested the general should become president via referendum, instead of through elections.
El-Sisi became a popular figure since taking a visible role in the 3 July ouster of elected president Mohamed Morsi, announcing on television that Morsi had "failed to meet the demands of the people" following mass protests across the nation against his rule.
On 24 July, El-Sisi publically called on Egyptians to "mandate" the armed forces and police to crackdown on violence and terrorism, by holding demonstrations. Huge crowds took to the streets in response to his request.
In his Sunday speech, which was broadcast on national television, El-Sisi also called on Egyptians to "uphold their national duty by voting in large numbers" in the draft constitution referendum.
Egyptians are scheduled to vote on the amended constitution on 14 and 15 January. The previous text – passed under Morsi – was suspended on his ouster.
El-Sisi stated on Saturday that voting on the referendum would "correct the democratic path and build a democratic modern state that satisfies all Egyptian."
Egypt is on the eve of a landmark in its history, as the world awaits the implementation of the first steps of the roadmap after two unique revolutions that impressed the world with their peacefulness, El-Sisi added.