The Egyptian army's Chief of Staff Sedki Sobhi has been promoted by interim President Adly Mansour to the rank of colonel general, a title that has historically been held only by Egyptian defence ministers, according to state-run TV.
Mansour’s decision came during his meeting on Wednesday with members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), reportedly held for Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to submit his resignation from the military.
El-Sisi's resignation would be seen as the first official step towards running in Egypt's upcoming presidential elections, slated to begin 30 March.
Sobhi, a former commander of Egypt's Third Army, was appointed as the army's chief of staff in August by deposed president Mohamed Morsi.
He is widely believed to be El-Sisi’s successor as defence minister.