Presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi highlighted the danger of having a military president during a television appearance Tuesday, saying that a popular uprising against such a head of state could jeopardize the military institution.
The military would take the side of the public in a revolt against a civilian president, but a similar act against a president who hailed from its own ranks would put Egypt’s Armed Forces in a difficult position, Sabbahi said during an interview with private satellite channel Dream TV.
The Popular Current party leader, who came in third in 2012 presidential elections, is the first candidate to formally announce his intention to run this year amid widespread speculation that military chief and Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will soon announce his own candidacy. In January, the military formally declared support for the potential bid of its leader.
Sabbahi has repeatedly emphasized his civilian background as his main advantage over Sisi. While criticizing the idea of a military president, the liberal politician said he considers Sisi’s motives for running to be patriotic and would be honored to have the general on his own team should Sabbahi win the election.