(CNN) -- Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah El-Sisi announced Wednesday that he would resign and declared his candidacy in national elections that are expected later this year.
Defense Minister El-Sisi, 59, must leave the army to run for president. He made the announcement on national TV.
"These recent years of our nation's history have conclusively shown that no one can become president of Egypt against the will of the people or short of their support. Never can anyone force Egyptians to vote for a president they do not want.
"Therefore, I am here before you humbly stating my intention to run for the presidency of the Arab Republic of Egypt ... Only your support will grant me this great honor," he said.
In the wake of the announcement, the office of Interim President Adly Mansour said that he had promoted the chief of staff of Egypt's armed forces, Lt. Gen. Sedki Sobhi, to the rank of first lieutenant general.
The state-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported earlier that El-Sisi had met military leaders to tell them he was stepping down.
Quoting a military source, Al-Ahram said the meeting would determine a successor to the field marshal. He is expected to submit his resignation to Mansour at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, Al-Ahram said.
CNN's Hamdi Alkhshali contributed to this report.