CAIRO: Egypt's top military council said on Monday its commander Abdel Fattah al-Sisi should heed calls to stand in a presidential election.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said in a statement "the people's trust in Sisi is a call that must be heeded as the free choice of the people".
The statement said Sisi had thanked the military leadership for allowing him "the right to respond to the call of duty".
Sisi, the general behind the ouster in July of Egypt's first democratically elected president, the Islamist Mohamed Morsi, would have to give up his military uniform to stand for election.
To his supporters, he is the best option for ending three years of instability following the 2011 uprising that forced out autocratic president Hosni Mubarak, another former military officer.
The presidential election is set to take place by mid-April, and will be followed by a parliamentary poll to restore democratic government by 2015, according to a new constitution.