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Woman kisses Sisi posterEgypt’s top military body has given its approval for army chief Field Marshal Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to run for the presidency, state media report.

Field Marshal Sisi led the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected leader, in July.

He is expected to accept the nomination from the Supreme Council for Armed Forces (SCAF) and resign from his military position within days.

Earlier, the interim president promoted him from general to field marshal.

Field Marshal Sisi is popular with much of the Egyptian public and analysts say he would be expected to win the presidential election, to be held by late April.

On Saturday, tens of thousands of people joined a rally in Cairo to mark the anniversary of the 2011 uprising against President Hosni Mubarak by calling on Field Marshal Sisi to stand.

The BBC’s Orla Guerin in Cairo says many Egyptians see him as being the strongman needed to pull their country out of its political crisis, but that others fear his election could mark a return to the authoritarianism the revolution sought to end.

Saturday also saw widespread anti-government protests, with at least 49 people killed in clashes and arrests reported in several cities.

BBC

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