CAIRO, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Egypt's army chief and Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi said Saturday that he would run for president only "if the people demand it and the army gives him a mandate," official Al-Ahram news website reported.
During a symposium held by the Armed Forces, Sisi told attendees that "I cannot turn my back on Egypt."
Sisi explained that the coming stage is "difficult" and it requires solidarity of all Egyptians to build their nation.
He called on all Egyptians to take part in a referendum on the country's new draft constitution slated for Jan. 14-15, stressing that the charter represents "one-third of the future roadmap."
He also noted that a low turnout in the upcoming constitution vote would "embarrass" him and the army.
The military, led by Sisi, ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in early July, 2013 after mass protests against Morsi's one- year rule and his Brotherhood group.
In mid-August 2013, security forces dispersed two major pro- Morsi sit-ins in Cairo and Giza, leaving about 1,000 people dead. The police also arrested thousands of Morsi's supporters, including Brotherhood leaders.
Ever since, Morsi's supporters have been holding protests against the current interim leadership, calling for Morsi's reinstatement and urging for boycotting the upcoming constitution referendum.
After removing Morsi, Sisi repeatedly said that the military would not interfere in politics.
However, a number of popular campaigns have recently formed an alliance urging Sisi to run for president as a popular demand.
Ousted Egypt president Morsi's trial adjourned to Feb. 1
CAIRO, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Cairo Criminal Court adjourned on Wednesday the trial of ousted president Mohamed Morsi over inciting killing protesters to Feb. 1 due to the bad weather that prevented his transport to the court, the state TV reported. Full story
Overseas Egyptians vote on draft constitution
TUNIS, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Egyptian community in Tunisia, along with their compatriots all over the world, started casting ballots on their nation's new draft constitution Wednesday, Egyptian Ambassador to Tunis Ayman Mousharafa said.
The vote, held at the Egyptian embassies in foreign countries, will go on until Jan. 12. Full story
3 killed, 40 arrested in pro-Morsi protests in Egypt
CAIRO, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- At least three people were killed and ten others injured on Friday during clashes across Egypt between supporters and opponents of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, official Al-Ahram news website said.
At least one person was shot dead and another injured in the clashes in the northern city of Alexandria. Full story