Minister of Defence Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi discussed the country’s security situation and upcoming presidential elections on Sunday.
“Egypt with its people and army is capable of uprooting extremism and terrorism,” said Al-Sisi at the ninth educational symposium at the Galaa Theatre in Cairo. “Terrorist operations will not affect the resolve and determination of the great Egyptian people.”
The army chief also stressed the importance of “united efforts” to achieve security, stability and progress.
Al-Sisi, who would be seen as the favourite candidate if he nominated himself, also turned his attention to the upcoming presidential elections.
“It is for the free will of the people to decide what it sees [fit] and who from its choices to put their trust in,” said Al-Sisi, who added that the army’s role in ousting former president Mohamed Morsi was “for Egypt and its people”.
The commander-in-chief has yet to officially announce his intention to run in presidential elections. Last month the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) mandated Al-Sisi’s possible presidential bid. The council said it “could not help but respect the will of the broad masses in the nomination of Al-Sisi for presidency, which it considers a mandate and an obligation”, in a statement, referring to demands from a number of groups that Al-Sisi become Egypt’s next president.
The field marshal would have to resign from the armed forces. According to Article 141 of the newly passed constitution, presidential candidates “must have civil and political rights”, barring officers still serving in the army from running for office.
On Saturday Nasserist and founder of Al-Tayar Al-Shaaby Hamdeen Sabahy announced his intention to run for president. Sabahy finished in third place in the first round of the 2012 presidential elections with over 4.8 million votes.