Egypt's Military Chief El-Sissi Resigns, Says He'll Run for President

Image: Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi
Egypt’s military chief Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi smiles as he speaks to Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during their talks along with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Moscow, Russia, on Feb. 13.Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP

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Egypt's military chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi announced Wednesday he would run for president in a forthcoming election he is expected to win handily.

In a televised statement, el-Sissi, who also announced his resignation from the military, said he could not "perform miracles" and called on Egyptians to work hard to improve their country.

Wearing his military uniform, el-Sissi said he would "give up the uniform to defend the nation" and run in elections expected next month.

Under Egyptian law, only civilians can run for president.

El-Sissi said events in recent years have shown Egyptians cannot be forced to elect a president they don’t want. He added that his candidacy should not preclude others from running.

The 59-year old military chief deposed President Mohammed Morsi last year following violent protests calling for his ouster.

—Becky Bratu, with Reuters