Egypt army chief says he will run for president: Kuwait paper

A man stands on a bridge where huge posters of Egypt's Army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi are hanged in central Cairo on Feb 3, 2014. Egypt's top military commander Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in comments published in Kuwait on Thursday that
A man stands on a bridge where huge posters of Egypt's Army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi are hanged in central Cairo on Feb 3, 2014. Egypt's top military commander Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in comments published in Kuwait on Thursday that he has decided to run in the presidential election scheduled for April. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

KUWAIT CITY (AFP) - Egypt's top military commander Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in comments published in Kuwait on Thursday that he has decided to run in the presidential election scheduled for April.

"Yes, the matter has been decided and I have no choice but to respond to the call of the Egyptian people," General Sisi told Kuwait's Al-Seyassah newspaper when asked if he has decided to run for presidency.

"The call (of the people) has been heard everywhere and I will not reject it. I will seek a renewal of confidence of the people through free voting," Gen Sisi said in the interview.

Gen Sisi's announcement comes a week after the country's top military council decided that he must run for the presidency, which he is assured to win after ousting the democratically elected leader in July.

Gen Sisi, wildly popular for overthrowing Islamist president Mohamed Mursi, is now expected to resign as army chief before he officially becomes a candidate in the election scheduled to be held by mid-April.

The army's decision came after a weekend in which dozens were killed in street clashes between Mursi's supporters and police and militant attacks, underscoring the difficulties Gen Sisi will face.

An Egyptian court on Wednesday adjourned Mursi's murder trial to March 1, to review video evidence against the Islamist.

Mursi and 14 co-defendants, some of them former aides, are charged with inciting the killings of opposition protesters outside the presidential palace in December 2012.