Egypt's military chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has widely been expected to run for president and win the mid-April elections. Those rumors came closer to confirmation on Tuesday as Sisi declared he could not ignore the calls of the people for him to run.
Sisi revealed to Egyptian state news agency Mena that "official procedures" regarding his presidential bid should be completed in the coming days.
The military leader's statements came at a graduation ceremony in Cairo, where he said he could "not turn his back on calls by the majority of Egyptians for him to run for president."
Sisi added that the Nile state is "going through a critical phase that required unity among the people, army and police." He further hinted the time for politicians was over, stating "no party alone can help Egypt get up onto its feet in such conditions."
The ouster of former President Mohammed Morsi last July was led by Sisi, and has brought months of disorder in which the army and Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood have clashed. Over 1,000 people have been reportedly killed in the process, and the Muslim Brotherhood has come in for a government crackdown.
Aside from the banning of the Brotherhood, Egypt just this Tuesday banned Hamas, which is associated with the Brotherhood. All assets of Hamas in Egypt were ordered for seizure.
Defeating AIDS as a campaign promise?
One of the more bizarre moves taken by the Egyptian military under Sisi was the announcement last Sunday that it had found a 100% effective cure for AIDS and hepatitis C.
Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Abdel-Atti, head of the Cancer Treatment and Screening center, presented the "breakthrough," a device that draws blood, "breaks down" the disease, and returns the now cancer-free blood back to the patient.
"I will take the AIDS from the patient and I will nourish the patient on the AIDS treatment. I will give it to him like a skewer of Kofta to nourish him," Abdel-Atti said, making the unlikely reference to a local dish featuring ground meat.
Interestingly the "wonder cure" is to be available to the public in June, conveniently after the mid-April elections when Sisi apparently will run. Sisi attended the announcement of the supposed cure.