With Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s recent promotion to field marshal Monday, followed by the green light given to him by the SCAF, the question remains: does he have to resign from his position in the military in order to run?
Article 141 of the Constitution reads: “The candidate must enjoy their civil and political rights, have fulfilled military service or been legally exempted from it and at the time of nomination must be at least 40 years of age. The law shall regulate other conditions of candidacy.”
Active military and police personnel are not allowed to vote and therefore do not enjoy political rights.
Tahani al-Gebali, a former judge on the Supreme Constitutional Court, has said in an interview on Al-Arabiya Al-Hadath channel that Article 103 of the new Constitution allows for Sisi to hold onto his position as field marshal until the election result is announced. She reiterated that he does not need to resign from his position in order to run in a statement to privately owned Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Refaat Fouda, a Professor of Constitutional Law at Cairo University, disagrees. “This opinion is 100 percent wrong. It’s not sound, not correct, and not legal.”
“Military men, like judges, are not registered on the voters’ list and therefore do not enjoy political rights,” Fouda said, adding that Sisi would have to place himself on the voters’ registry in order to nominate himself.
Article 142 stipulates that “25,000 citizens who are eligible to vote, from at least 15 governorates, with a minimum of 1,000 endorsements from each governorate” must sign a petition supporting Sisi’s candidacy.
The Kammel Gemeelak (“fulfill your promise”) campaign, which seeks Sisi’s candidacy, claims to have garnered 26 million signatures, its official spokesperson, Abdel Nabi Abdel Sattar told the news website Al-Masryoun.