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Egyptian MP Sameh Seif El-Yazel dies after cancer battle

Ahram Online , Monday 4 Apr 2016
Sameh Saif El Yazel, a former intelligence officer (Al-Ahram)
Sameh Saif El Yazel, a former intelligence officer (Al-Ahram)
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Views: 6999

Egyptian MP Sameh Seif El-Yazal, the coordinbator of the House of Representatives' largest bloc, died on Monday after a long battle with cancer.

Born in 1946 in Cairo, Seif El-Yazal graduated from the Military Academy in 1965 and was a war veteran, participating in the Six-Day War, the War of Attrition and the 6 October War.

El-Yazal joined Egypt's Republican Guard and then military intelligence and the Egyptian General Intelligence Service till early 1994.  

According to his official Facebook page, during his work in military intelligence he worked as minister plenipotentiary at the Egyptian embassies in the UK and North Korea.

Before the 25 January 2011 uprising, Seif El-Yazal frequently appeared on Egyptian and Arab TV channels and newspapers as a national security expert.

Though he had officially left the intelligence services, he seemed to have access to inside information on crucial issues such as whether then-Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi would run for president.

Seif El-Yazal had repeatedly expressed views consistent with those of the Supreme Council of the Armed forces.

In December 2014, he announced that he would run in the parliamentary elections in Egypt.

In the following months, he became the coordinator of the 'For the love of Egypt' bloc, a pro-Sisi electoral coalition that won 120 seats in the parliamentary elections.

Despite denying allegations by political rivals that the coalition was made and supported by the state security institutions, the former intelligence officer was clear that 'For the love of Egypt' would be "El-Sisi's arm" in the House of Representatives.

The bloc, whose name was later changed to 'Support Egypt,' comprises around 300 MPs, making up about half of parliament.

Business background

After leaving the national security field in the early 1990s, Seif El-Yazel joined the business world, becoming the chairman of G4S Secure Solutions Egypt, the subsidiary of G4S, a multinational security service based in London.

Seif El-Yazel was also the chairman of the British-Egyptian Business Association.

In late 2014, he left G4S for an active role in Egyptian politics with his announcement that he would run in the parliamentary elections. 

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