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For Egypt's Military Leader, a Choice: To Run or Not To Run.

On the desk of Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt's military chief and de facto leader, sit the daily newspapers, full of adoration from the masses and the political class alike, all telegraphing the same message: Run for president; the nation needs you. There is even a lawsuit that would force him to run. Next to the papers is a book, given to Sisi by his American counterpart, Sec. of Defense Chuck Hagel. The book is Ron Chernow's Washington: A Life, in which Hagel highlighted the part about Washington giving up power after his second term: a message, wrapped as a gift.

That Sisi is considering a run when elections are held sometime next year is certain. His answers in interviews have left the door open for his candidacy, and he has done nothing to stop the mass hysteria surrounding the possibility. Leaked excerpts of his interview with Al Masry Al Youm, Egypt's leading daily newspaper, show a man worried about his future and uncertain about which path to take. He understands better than anyone else that no matter his official title he needs to shape the country's futureand, specifically, to make sure the Muslim Brotherhood never returns to power. For him it's a personal issue as much as a political one: Today, tomorrow, or 20 years from now, a return of the Brotherhood to power could cost him his head. He needs to move forward carefully. To run or not to run? Either choice is potentially risky.

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Author:Tadros, Samuel
Publication:Tablet Magazine
Geographic Code:7EGYP
Date:Nov 21, 2013
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