Egypt’s former spy chief Omar Suleiman died early on July 19 aged 76 whilst undergoing medical tests in the United States.
“He was fine, it happened all of a sudden,” Hussein Kamal, the head of Suleiman’s presidential campaign team and head of his personal office, told Reuters. “He was undergoing medical examinations,” he added, without revealing the cause of death.
Meanwhile, Sky News Arabia quoted an anonymous source stating that Suleiman had been suffering from a blood disease, which led to his death in a Cleveland hospital at dawn July 19.
Egypt’s state-run news agency MENA claimed Suleiman had developed a lung disease months ago, which later caused heart problems. His health notably deteriorated over the past three weeks, it added.
An Egyptian diplomatic source in Washington told MENA that arrangements were being made to transfer his body back to Egypt. The same source said two of Suleiman’s daughters were escorting him.
[May 5]Nabil Naeem: If he becomes president.
Interviewer: “So if Omar Suleiman becomes the Egyptian president…”
Nabil Naeem: “Then violence will return. Armed violence.”
Interviewer: “Armed violence?”
Nabil Naeem: “That’s right.”
Interviewer: “Assassinations, for example?”
Nabil Naeem: “Yes. He himself would be a target for assassinations. Is he any better than Sadat?”
Interviewer: “You are issuing a threat live on TV.”
Nabil Naeem: “No, it’s not a threat. You asked if the violence would return, and I said it would.”
Interviewer: “You declared it live on TV.” memri
[April 22] Egypt’s Constitutional Court has declined to issue an opinion on a draft law that would bar former top officials in Hosni Mubarak’s ousted regime from running for the presidency,
The high court said it couldn’t rule on the draft, which was approved by parliament, until it becomes law, the state-run newspaper reported. The legislation must be approved by the ruling military council before it takes effect.
The draft law would prevent individuals who held top spots in the former regime from holding the presidency, the vice presidency, the premiership and other senior positions for a period of 10 years from the day Mubarak was pushed from power in February 2011.
Lawmakers drafted the measure partly in response to a the presidential campaign of Omar Suleiman, who also briefly served as vice president.
[April 20]“There is a lot of opacity as to what is going on. There are a lot of competing centers of authority,” it’s difficult to judge whether the court or election commission acted on their own or if the military politicized thee decisions. It’s obvious the presidential election exercise cannot be left to its own devices. It will bring someone the SCAF doesn’t want to deal with. How do they manage it to look like it’s completely legitimate without using techniques like intervention, or rigging? There’s a back story.”
[April 16]Although most analysts believe Suleiman is unlikely to win the election even if his candidacy is reinstated, he is expected to make a strong showing among several key groups, including Coptic Christians, retired military officers and Egyptians who are tired of the unpredictability of Egypt since Mubarak’s ouster.
[April 14]The body overseeing Egypt’s presidential election disqualified 10 candidates from the race on April 14, including the Muslim Brotherhood’s Khairat al-Shater, former spy chief Omar Suleiman and ultra orthodox Salafi sheikh Hazem Salah Abu Ismail. Suleiman will challenge the commission’s decision. “Omar Suleiman will take legal route to challenge this decision to exclude him from the presidential race,” said a spokesman
[April 12] An increasingly bitter dispute between the military and the Brotherhood, the nation’s largest political group, threatens to boil over and derail the entire political process.
Omar Suleiman told El-Fagr newspaper that the Brotherhood’s fielding of a presidential candidate “horrified” Egyptians. The candidacy of Khairat el-Shater, the group’s deputy leader, reversed an earlier promise by the Brotherhood not to field a candidate.
In the interview, Suleiman noted that the Brotherhood already controls just under half of parliament’s seats and is the chamber’s largest single bloc. He warned that the group would control all state institutions if it wins the presidency.
[April 10]Move to ban Suleiman, Shafiq and other senior figures of the former regime from occupying senior public posts for 10 years advances. The Islamist-dominated Egyption parliament will seek to pass the proposed reform before the electoral commission reaches its final ruling on presidential candidates. “The Article we have agreed to add to the existing law states: Anyone who worked during the five years preceding the resignation of former president on Feb.11, 2011 in any leadership job in the institution of the presidency or of the government or was a member of the People’s Assembly or of the Shura Council representing the dissolved National Party or was appointed in any of those by the resigned president cannot be admitted to run for president of the republic or work as a vice president or prime minister or a minister for a period of 10 years starting from the date of former president’s resignation,”
[April 9]”Those who think that my candidacy for president means reinventing the former regime must realise that being the head of the General Intelligence Department or vice-president for a few days does not mean that I was part of an institution against which people revolted,” he added.
“I am counting on the little people, on the young and on intellectuals. I am counting on those who want security and stability, who want to be able to earn a living in dignity and freedom.”
[April 7]Omar Suleiman, the right-hand man of former President Hosni Mubarak, announced April 6, he will enter the race to become Egypt’s new leader after Mr. Mubarak was forced out by a massive uprising last year.
Mr. Suleiman’s decision raises the possibility that, one year after an uprising that was spurred in part by the Mubarak regime’s brutality, torture, and oppression, one of the architects of that repression could become Egypt’s first post-Mubarak president.
Some see his candidacy as a response by Egypt’s military rulers to the Muslim Brotherhood’s recent decision to field a presidential candidate – a decision that broke a year-long promise to stay out of the race. Omar Ashour, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar, says Suleiman’s candidacy raises the possibility that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which is currently ruling Egypt, may rig the elections to favor the former intelligence chief.
A former Egyptian army general,Suleiman’s military background, graduations from Egyptian Military Academy and Soviet Frunze Military Academy along with his tough stances on Hamas, Iran, and political Islamism, make him a well-received choice with the armed forces – and the US. “Our intelligence collaboration with Omar [Suleiman] … is now probably the most successful element of the relationship” between Egypt and the US, stated a 2006 US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks. Mr. Suleiman, who was appointed vice president shortly after the uprising began, is well known and respected by American officials and has traveled to Washington many times. He was the point person handling the relationship with the United States and Israeli-Egyptian ties under Mr. Mubarak.
Presidential elections will take place on 23 and 24 May, and the president will be named on 21 June after a run-off voting round, if necessary, on 16 and 17 June.