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Ear to the Ground

Head of Egyptian Army Announces He’s Running for President

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Posted on Mar 26, 2014

  A poster showing Egyptian Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, center, and former presidents Anwar Sadat, left, and Gamal Abdel-Nasser, right, is taped to an army armored vehicle on a bridge leading to Tahrir Square. AP/Thomas Hartwell

Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi resigned Wednesday in order to announce his candidacy for the Egyptian presidency—an office left vacant by the coup he helped organize.

“I cannot make miracles. Rather, I propose hard work and self-denial,” said el-Sissi, who is also defense minister. He is opposed by leftest Hamdeen Sabahi and the Muslim Brotherhood, most of whose leaders are currently in jail.

A court Monday sentenced 529 Muslim Brothers to death. An additional 919 members of the organization, which briefly held power after Egypt’s first-ever free presidential elections, are about to go on trial for murder and terrorism in the same province.

According to Reuters, el-Sissi is a divisive figure: “Many see him as the kind of strong man needed to stabilize a country in crisis. But he is reviled by the Islamist opposition as the mastermind of a coup against a freely elected leader.”

—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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