Suleiman Pick: 'He's Not the One'

Choice won't appease populace, could signal military takeover
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2011 5:29 AM CST
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak extending his hand as Omar Suleiman salutes, during the swearing in ceremony to name Suleiman as VP, Saturday Jan. 29. 2011.   (AP Photo / Egypt State TV)
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(Newser) – Hosni Mubarak's new vice president—and possible successor—may help shore up support with Egypt's powerful military and reassure the United States, but Omar Suleiman will do little to save Mubarak's presidency. Suleiman leads Egypt’s foreign intelligence service, has similar political views as Mubarak, is considered the establishment pick by the public—indeed, there have already been chants against Suleiman. "It's pretty clear he's not the one the people are calling for," a US official working in the Mideast tells the Wall Street Journal.

“If he was appointed before, it would have been good,” a former ambassador tells the New York Times. “But now, no one knows what he will be asked to do or what role he will play, and he is going be considered part of a regime that is in a shaky position.” Suleiman was actually promised the VP position years ago, but Mubarak reneged and tried positioning his son to take over instead. Now, the choice of Suleiman could signal the military intends on running things. “What concerns us now is this is clearly a military takeover,” says a former professor at American University in Cairo. “I would not be surprised if Mubarak disappears tomorrow or after tomorrow.”

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