- Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told CNBC that he will not seek a third term
- Al-Sisi also said that elections in Egypt will be held in March or April 2018
- He did not confirm whether he will be standing for a second term in next year's vote
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told CNBC that he will not seek a third term, and instead respect the country's constitution which permits its leaders to serve only two four-year terms.
"It doesn't suit me as a president to stay one more day against the will of the Egyptians. This is not talk for TV, those are principles I embrace and am keen on," he told CNBC over the weekend.
"We will not interfere with (the constitution)," Al-Sisi said. "I am with preserving two four-year terms."
Al-Sisi also said that elections in Egypt will be held in March or April 2018. He did not directly say whether he intended to run in the anticipated vote.
Al-Sisi came to power four years ago in a landslide victory following a coup, which he helped to lead, against former President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. He vowed to bring stability to the country following widespread unrest and political upheaval during the 2011 Arab Spring.
In 2014's election, Al-Sisi won roughly 97 percent of the vote on a turnout of 47.5 percent, according to Reuters.
Since then, Al-Sisi has been criticized for his handling of economic and security issues. The country is battling an Islamic State-backed insurgency in its North Sinai region. Egypt is implementing International Monetary Fund-backed economic reforms, which the organization says is causing Egypt's economy to gather strength. However, the Egyptian pound's flotation one year ago — which unpegged it from the U.S. dollar — has made many feel poorer.
Nonetheless, Al-Sisi's supporters have already begun petitioning for him to contest the 2018 election.
"There is no president who will sit in the chair without the will of the Egyptian people," he told CNBC.