Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Egypt military, state media backing ex-spy chief Suleiman for president

Egypt's former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman will have the backing of the country's ruling military generals and the state media's powerful propaganda machine, in his bid to become the President of the nation, officials with firsthand knowledge have claimed.

Suleiman, Hosni Mubarak's former vice president, will set out as a formidable presidential challenger to stop the Islamists from taking over the country and would present himself as a safe pair of hands for those increasingly frustrated over tenuous security and a worsening economy.

According to a moderate Islamist candidate Abdel-Moneim Abolfotoh, the ruling military council has pushed Suleiman to run for president."I can say with certainty that the (ruling) military council pushed Omar Suleiman to run," Fox news quoted Abolfotoh, as saying.

"I can't imagine the Egyptian people will elect a figure from the old regime," he added.

According to some officials, under Suleiman's leadership, the ruling generals will have a sympathetic military man happy to shield them from any attempt to prosecute them for alleged crimes, protect them from civilian oversight and keep their vast economic empire away from the tax collectors.

"He is the candidate of the ruling military council without a doubt," the report quoted an official with firsthand knowledge, as saying.

According to the report, the state media, which have sided with the ruling military council against the pro-democracy groups calling for it to step down, is promoting Suleiman.

The state media is presenting him as the politician with the expertise needed to spare Egypt more upheavals.

Meanwhile, Mahmoud Ghozlan, the spokesman for the powerful political wing Muslim Brotherhood, said if the elections are free and fair, Suleiman is bound to lose.

"The Egyptian people hate him, they know his scandals and his animosity to the public. He will either take a big fall or he will re-ignite the revolution again," Ghozlan said. (ANI)

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