Egypt's interim president Adly Mansour says won't run for presidency

Reuters, Tuesday 19 Nov 2013

Egypt's interim head of state Adly Mansour will not run for president in elections slated for next year, a Kuwaiti newspaper on Tuesday quoted him as saying.

Mansour was sworn in as interim president on 4 July, a day after the Egyptian army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi following nationwide mass protests against his one-year rule.

Morsi had appointed Mansour as head of the constitutional court, but the latter was not sworn in as head of the court until hours before he took the oath as interim president.

When asked by Kuwait's Al-Seyassah newspaper whether he would run for president, Mansour said:

"No... No, I will return to my office and my work at the constitutional court."

Western allies have watched with dismay as the most populous Arab state stumbled on its path to democracy after a popular uprising toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Saying it was responding to the will of the people, the army removed Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, from power and promised a political roadmap that would lead to free and fair elections.

Authorities have also embarked on a tough crackdown on Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Under the roadmap, Mansour will remain head of the interim government until presidential elections are held, due to follow parliamentary polls and the approval of amendments to the suspended constitution in a referendum.

In an interview earlier this month, Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said parliamentary elections would take place in February or March, with presidential polls slated for early summer.

No prominent figures have publicly stated their intentions to run for president, but speculation has been rising that army chief General Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, the man who deposed Mursi, could contest the vote.

El-Sisi has emerged as Egypt's most popular public figure and analysts say he would become president if he ran for office. He is seen as a decisive leader who can restore stability.

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