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Suleiman: The CIA's man in Cairo - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

Suleiman has long been favoured by the US government for his ardent anti-Islamism, his willingness to talk and act tough on Iran - and he has long been the CIA's main man in Cairo.

Mubarak knew that Suleiman would command an instant lobby of supporters at Langley and among 'Iran nexters' in Washington - not to mention among other authoritarian mukhabarat-dependent regimes in the region. Suleiman is a favourite of Israel too; he held the Israel dossier and directed Egypt's efforts to crush Hamas by demolishing the tunnels that have functioned as a smuggling conduit for both weapons and foodstuffs into Gaza.

According to a WikiLeak(ed) US diplomatic cable, titled 'Presidential Succession in Egypt', dated May 14, 2007:

"Egyptian intelligence chief and Mubarak consigliere, in past years Soliman was often cited as likely to be named to the long-vacant vice-presidential post. In the past two years, Soliman has stepped out of the shadows, and allowed himself to be photographed, and his meetings with foreign leaders reported. Many of our contacts believe that Soliman, because of his military background, would at least have to figure in any succession scenario."

From 1993 until Saturday, Suleiman was chief of Egypt's General Intelligence Service. He remained largely in the shadows until 2001, when he started taking over powerful dossiers in the foreign ministry; he has since become a public figure, as the WikiLeak document attests. In 2009, he was touted by the London Telegraph and Foreign Policy as the most powerful spook in the region, topping even the head of Mossad.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 11th, 2011 at 11:50:53 AM EST
The CIA's man in Cairo is Suleiman, but they had to learn what was going on from the news channels?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Feb 11th, 2011 at 11:56:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Suleiman was probably working on Mubarak all last night and this morning to make it happen...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 11th, 2011 at 12:57:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or maybe he's not the CIA's man in Cairo.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Feb 11th, 2011 at 01:07:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quite possible, since that's an opinion piece from Al Jazeera. It's equally possible the CIA has no one in Cairo. Or a couple of guys who are learning Arabic for next year.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Feb 11th, 2011 at 01:18:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I just read (unconfirmed - on twitter) that Suleiman is out of the picture too. The Chief Justice of the Egyptian Supreme Court will be interim President. Again I haven't managed to cross check this.

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Fri Feb 11th, 2011 at 12:11:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember reading somewhere that according to the Egyptian constitution it is not the VP that succeeds the President.

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by A swedish kind of death on Fri Feb 11th, 2011 at 01:54:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There hasn't even been a VP for the better part of the past 30 years...

Keynesianism is intellectually hard, as evidenced by the inability of many trained economists to get it - Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Feb 11th, 2011 at 02:03:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Checked it:

Egypt's Government Services Portal - Egypt Constitution - Chapter Five

Art.84:   In case of the vacancy of the Presidential office or the permanent disability of the President of the Republic, the Speaker of the People's Assembly shall temporarily assume the Presidency. In case the People's Assembly is dissolved at such a time the President of the Supreme Constitutional Court shall take over the Presidency on condition that neither one shall nominate himself for the Presidency. The People's Assembly shall then proclaim the vacancy of the office of President . The President of the Republic shall be chosen within a maximum period of sixty days form the date of the vacancy of the Presidential office.

So if the Assembly is dissolved it is indeed the President of the Supreme Constitutional Court that takes it temporarily and he can not run in the election that shall be held within 60 days.

Upon further reading:

Egypt's Government Services Portal - Egypt Constitution - Chapter Five

Art.76:   The People's Assembly shall nominate the President of the Republic . The nomination shall be referred to the people for a plebiscite. The nomination for the President of the Republic shall be made in the People' Assembly upon the proposal of at least one third of its members. The candidate who obtains two thirds of the votes of the members of the People's Assembly shall be referred to the people for a plebiscite . If he does not obtain the said majority the nomination process shall be repeated two days after the first vote. The candidate obtaining an absolute majority of the votes of the Assembly members shall be referred to the citizens for a plebiscite. The candidate shall be considered President of the Republic when he obtains an absolute majority of votes cast in the plebiscite. If the candidate does not obtain this majority, the Assembly shall propose the nomination of another candidate and the same procedure shall follow concerning his candidature and election.

Wonder how this works when the Assmebly is dissolved?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Feb 11th, 2011 at 02:22:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Considering that the members of the existing People's Assembly were selected under long standing "state of emergency" rules which were designed to insure only Mubarak supporters were likely to vote, it is a blessing, (multi-lingual pun intended), if the Assembly is dissolved. I read that the reason Mubarak turned power over to a military council was to avoid the necessity of having an election in 60 days and to allow for preparations for a fairer, broader based election. That may or may not be the case, but six months seems a much more reasonable time frame to organize new parties and an election. I imagine most Egyptians view their constitution as a work very much in process just now.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Feb 11th, 2011 at 05:39:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BBC News - Egypt unrest
1652: Al-Arabiya reports that the Higher Military Council will sack the cabinet, suspend both houses of parliament and rule with the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, the country's highest judicial body. A statement is expected later on Friday.
by Fran on Fri Feb 11th, 2011 at 12:15:00 PM EST
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