Cairo: Egypt's military, which is presiding over the country's historic transition to democracy, has no plans to field a candidate for the post of President, the ruling Council Chief Hussein Tantawi said on Thursday, scotching rumours that the Army was interested in the polls.
   
Tantawi also said the Parliamentary elections, Egypt's first since the fall of Hosni Mubarak's regime, were postponed at the request of political parties who wanted more time to prepare for them.
   
"These are only rumours and we shouldn't waste time talking about rumours," Tantawi said, while opening an armed forces medical complex here.
   
The statements of the Field Marshall come at a time when tensions have erupted between the ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces and the political forces.
   
Activists have on a number of occasions protested against what they perceive as a delay in the transition process and failure of the regime to bring to justice those responsible for the killing of pro-democracy protesters.
   
A major bloc of political parties led by the Muslim Brotherhood had recently threatened to boycott the parliamentary elections, scheduled for September, protesting against a clause in the electoral law that they feared might allow loyalists of the Mubarak regime to enter the Parliament.
   
Following the protest, the law was amended by the SCAF.
   
Tantawai sought to clear the air over rumours and perceptions in the country over the Army's future role by saying that the institution does not intend to stay at the helm of affairs in the country for a long time.
   
"We will not leave Egypt until we have fulfilled all we promised and do our duty towards the people," Tantawi said.
    
"The armed forces have no interest in staying for a long time," he was quoted as saying by MENA.

Tantawai's announcement also came on a day when Egypt is celebrating the anniversary of its 1973 victory over Israel and the taking back of the Sinai Peninsula.

In a gesture of goodwill the Army invited Egyptian citizens to celebrate the 38th anniversary of the October victory at the iconic Tahrir Square. The invitation was extended through a statement posted on SCAF's official facebook page.
   
The Field Marshall also stated that the civilians will be able to receive medical treatment in army hospitals in the near future.
   
The Army in Egypt is an independent establishment with its own medical and construction sectors and whose budget is never mentioned in the Parliament when discussing the annual budget.
   
Egyptian Presidents since the military coup in 1952 have been military figures.
   
A truly democratic country will mean the army will come under the scrutiny of a civilian government, a fact the Army is expected to resist.

(Agencies)