Cairo - Egypt's military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sissi left the
door open to a presidential run in elections next year, telling a paper
published on Wednesday it was up to "God's will".
The general is easily the county's most popular political
figure after he ousted president Mohammed Morsi and appointed an interim
government in July, in response to mass protests demanding the Islamist's
"The matter you speak of is tremendous and
significant," Sissi replied when asked in an interview with Al-Masry al-Yom
whether he would stand for president.
"But I think the time is not right to ask this
question, given the challenges and dangers facing the country which require we
focus our efforts on achieving the plan for the future," he said.
The newspaper added that Sisi fell silent before reciting a
Koranic verse loosely translated as: "And God's will prevails."
Several former presidential candidates who lost out to Morsi
in elections last year have said they would support Sissi if he stood for
According to the interim government's timetable,
parliamentary and then presidential elections are due to be held by mid-2014.