• 16:43
  • Thursday ,08 March 2012
العربية

Group plans conference to support former VP for president

By-Almasry Alyoum

Home News

00:03

Wednesday ,07 March 2012

Group plans conference to support former VP for president

Former Vice President Omar Suleiman has not yet decided whether he will run for president, but his decision is expected to be announced soon, the Facebook page campaigning for him has said.

The page said it is planning a big conference for Friday to call on Egyptians to support Suleiman for president. 
 
It added that this conference will be a sign to tell Suleiman, a close ally of former President Hosni Mubarak, that he should run for the presidency since he is the most suitable man to lead Egypt given the country's current situation. 
 
The page called on Suleiman’s supporters in Cairo and other governorates to attend the conference to express their support for Suleiman. The group welcomes support for Suleiman’s potential bid from any political group, the statement added.
 
The government has set Saturday, 10 March as the first day for presidential candidates to register and 23 and 24 May for the first presidential election since Hosni Mubarak’s ouster early last year. The nation’s new president will be named on 21 June.
 
Several leading figures have already expressed interest in running for president, including Amr Moussa, a former foreign minister under Mubarak and former Arab League chief who has already begun campaigning,
 
In late January last year, Mubarak named Suleiman, his intelligence chief for nearly two decades, as his vice president, his first since coming to power. The step was a clear attempt to appease protesters who had poured into the streets to protest his 30-year rule.
 
As head of the General Intelligence Services, Suleiman was in charge of the country’s most important political security files and was the mastermind behind the fragmentation of Islamist groups who led an uprising against the state in the 1990s.
 
The intelligence apparatus is said to have previously led negotiations over Egypt’s controversial natural gas deal with Israel. That agreement has come under fire recently for setting the prices of gas sold to Israel much lower than international rates.