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Support grows in Cairo for Sisi presidential bid

Jan. 28, 2014 at 11:48 AM

CAIRO, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq said he wouldn't run for president if Field Marshall Abdel Fattah al-Sisi declares his candidacy.

"If Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ... ran for [the] presidency, I will support him and will not nominate myself," the former prime minister was quoted by the Egyptian Independent news agency as saying.

Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said Monday it was obliged to respond to the people's support for Sisi by endorsing his potential bid. Sisi, promoted to field marshal this week, took power after the military removed Mohamed Morsi from power in July.

Morsi, the candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, beat retired air force general and former Prime Minister Shafiq to become the first democratically elected president in Egyptian history last year. Morsi is now on trial on charges of working with Hamas and Hezbollah.

Shafiq was quoted Tuesday as saying the "interests of Egypt" were more important than his political aspirations.

Amr Moussa, chairman of the committee that drafted an Egyptian constitution, told pan-Arab daily newspaper Asharq al-Awsat in mid-January he would stand behind the field marshal if he decided to run as a civilian candidate in eventual elections.

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