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Published: Monday January 27, 2014 MYT 9:00:04 PM
Updated: Monday January 27, 2014 MYT 9:00:04 PM

Egypt's army chief promoted, expected to run for president

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been promoted to the rank of field marshal, in what security officials said on Monday was a sign he is about to declare his candidacy for the presidency.

The presidency announced General Sisi's promotion without giving details.

"The decision was expected and it is the first step before the resignation of the general and his candidacy announcement which is now expected very soon," said a security official.

Sisi, who toppled Islamist president Mohamed Mursi last year, is widely expected to contest the election due within six months, and win easily.

Sisi has become hugely popular since the military takeover. Supporters see him as a decisive figure who can tackle unrest that has gripped Egypt since the 2011 uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt's military council is discussing the public's request for Sisi to run for president, the state news agency said.

(Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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