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Photos of Egypt army chief El-Sisi wearing suit re-fuels presidency speculation

Rare photos of army chief Abdel Fattah El-Sisi published online on Youm7 and Tahrir News spark speculation of presidential run

Ahram Online, Tuesday 20 Aug 2013
Sisi
Egypt army chief Abdel Fattah El-Sisi
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Rare photos of Egyptian defence minister Abdel Fattah El-Sisi wearing non-military outfits were published in a couple of private newspapers on Tuesday.

The photos were published online on Youm7 and Tahrir News as the first of its kind.

One photo is of El-Sisi getting out of a 4X4 vehicle dressed in a suit with a big smile on his face, and another where he is shown wearing a button-down shirt and shades.

The photos evoked memories of the hoopla that surrounded his predecessor, former military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, when he visited the iconic Tahrir Square wearing a suit in 2011.

They also have started to renew speculation on social media over his intention towards presidency.

Though, El-Sisi and other military spokesmen repeatedly stressed that he has no intention to run for president.

Almost two years ago, it was strongly rumoured that Tantawi, who was considered to be the de-facto ruler following the fall of Hosni Mubarak, intended to run for presidency after being seen publicly without his military attire.

El-Sisi

His tour in downtown Cairo was broadcasted live on Egyptian state TV and raised suspicion that he was “paving the way for himself to run for president.”

However, Egyptian authorities said Tantawi’s visit to the epicentre of the 2011 uprising was impromptu and that no guards escorted him.

El-Sisi has been similarly considered by many to be the actual ruler of the country. Although the armed forces appointed a civil president Adly Mansour upon the military’s removal of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July amid mass nationwide protests against him.

El-Sisi has become increasingly popular since Morsi's ouster. Many anti-Morsi protesters tend to hold up photos of the army chief in rallies.

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