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Rebel group retracts support for possible El-Sisi presidential bid

Tamarod, the group which ignited the mass protests that ended Islamist president Morsi's rule, officially backtracks on earlier support to Army Chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi if he runs for president

Ahram Online , Wednesday 18 Dec 2013
Supporters of Egypt's Army Chief General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi hold his image aloft in downtown Cairo's Tahrir Square, 19 November, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
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Views: 2592

Egypt's Rebel campaign (Tamarod) has urged Egyptian Army Chief General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi not to run for presidency, a shift in policy as the group had initially voiced its backing to his potential presidential bid.

Despite earlier backing, Hassan Shahine, spokesman of the youth group -- which had spearheaded mass nationwide protests that culminated in president Mohamed Morsi's removal by the army early July -- had recently distanced the movement from such a clear stance with repeatedly equivocal answers.

In a Tuesday statement, however, the group counselled El-Sisi, Egypt's defence minister, against running for the post and called for a presidential vote to precede parliamentary polls.

The movement's chief demand, launched in a petition which circulated the nation's streets, was to force Morsi to hold early presidential elections, "and thus presidential polls must come first," the statement said.

A draft constitution finalised early December did not stipulate a voting sequence, leaving the decision of which poll to hold first, or whether to hold both simultaneously, at the discretion of interim president Adly Mansour.

The charter, expected to pass in a referendum slated for 14-15 January, states the first election must begin at least one month after the adoption of the constitution, and the second poll within six months.

"Abdel Fattah El-Sisi should not run for the presidency to maintain his image as a popular hero who fulfilled his duty toward the nation," added the statement.

Army Chief El-Sisi -- perceived as the country's de facto ruler -- has grown into a popular icon since leading Morsi's ouster, with his supporters and numerous politicians calling on him to run for president. 

Although he has sent mixed messages in media interviews on his intention to run, first saying he does not seek the post and more recently keeping the possibility open, it is widely speculated that he would win if he decided to contend for the presidency.

Hamdeen Sabahi, a Nasserist leader who came third in last year's presidential poll, was the only politician defeated by Morsi, the country's first democratically-elected president, to declare his candidacy in the upcoming poll.

He had urged El-Sisi to stick to military matters, yet said he would respect the will of political forces if they backed him for the presidency.

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19-12-2013 05:44pm
Tamaroud is a bigest agent of isreal and using some fools egyptian to divide egypt.
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Samantha Criscione
19-12-2013 08:48am
Sisi gets bad and insincere advice from Tamarod
According to Tamarod, Sisi should not run for president in order "to maintain his image as a popular hero"? Couldn't they come up with anything more convincing than that? Egypt does not need heroic images, it needs good leadership; Sisi has shown thoughtfulness, loyalty to the Egyptian people, and real courage, which is why most Egyptians want him to run. It seems to me that Tamarod has a hidden agenda here: they don't want Sisi to run for reasons they do not have the courage to state, so they come up with this nonsense about Sisi protecting his heroic image. -- Samantha Criscione
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23-12-2013 05:35pm
El Sisi
I would love to see el Sisi stand as candidate for President of Egypt. Firstly, he will lose badly if the elections is not rigged. Secondly, when he becomes the President, the Armed forces will throw him out by a coup as a precedent has been set. Give him one year and the people should continue the street protests the same way they did to Morsi. On completion of one year, ask him what has he accomplished. I call upon the Egyptians who read this to reflect and compare Morsi's rule with the present regime. Watch my word. Mubarak, his sons and his loyalists who killed the young revolutionaries in the January elections will soon be freed by the regime and look at the bogus trials of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood leaders. El Sisi will fail in the same way this regime has failed. However El Sisi will be afraid to be in the Presidential race.

18-12-2013 03:35pm
Good , they are recognizing the reality
If Sisi comes into power than next real election would be impossible, Army supporters are corrupt to core. Army is for protecting the border , not for killing own citizens.
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18-12-2013 01:37pm
tamarod's move
their move is highly appreciable and cotemprary need.we really want fhe people of egypt should live in peace with perfect freedom and dignity.may ALLAH bless HIS mercy.
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