Egypt's top generals made an announcement Monday, clearing the way for General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to run for president — and the press is pretty certain he's going to win.
"Sisi, who toppled Islamist President Mohamed Morsi last year, only decided to run for president recently following growing pressure from the street from those who reject the Islamist government he overthrew." (Via Euronews)
Or so he says. The truth is that Sisi has been seen as a likely presidential candidate ever since he gave Morsi his walking papers last July. (Via Al Arabiya)
The Washington Post was one of many outlets to raise the subject at the time: "His sunglasses-clad face is venerated in Cairo's streets and his pictures pasted on the windows of minibuses and storefronts ... For the most popular man in Egypt, the question is: Does he want to be the country's next president?"
He's still a popular figure, and with a presidential election just three months away, there are no viable candidates to challenge him.
So when the country's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces gave Sisi permission to run Monday — in fact calling his candidacy "a mandate and an obligation" and promoting him to the rank of Field Marshall — the media pretty much all agreed that he will be the next president. (Via Al-Ahram)
A writer for Time said, "It hasn't happened yet. But after Monday's events, the Field Marshal's election has taken on a certain fore-ordained quality."
And an analyst told The Guardian, "He's got a lot of public support, and he would win in an election tomorrow."
But there's also agreement on another point: if Sisi does become president, odds are his popularity won't last very long.
The New York Times writes: "He stands to inherit all the problems of poverty and corruption that fueled the 2011 uprising against the country's longtime strongman, Hosni Mubarak."
A BBC reporter added: "His victory looks all but guaranteed. But he will inherit a deeply divided country, and a failing economy. Without quick solutions he too could face the wrath of the people."
Former President Mohamed Morsi is set to go on trial Tuesday. Police continue to clash with Morsi's supporters, with at least 54 people killed over the weekend.