Second former intelligence officer enters Egypt presidential race
Ahram Online, Wednesday 29 Feb 2012
Mamdouh Qutb throws hat into presidential ring, says concerned at Egypt's financial, social and security crisis

General Mamdouh Qutb, the former director-general of Egypt's intelligence service, has announced his intention to stand in presidential elections scheduled for May.

"I am running for president because of the financial, social and security crisis that Egypt is facing," Qutb told a press conference at the Press Syndicate on Wednesday.

He is the second former intelligence officer to announce his candidacy. The first was Hossam Khairallah, former deputy-chief of the General Intelligence Services.

Qutb was a member of the armed forces from 1975 to 1982 before entering the intelligence service where he worked for 25 years.

New to the political scene, Qutb was head of the Humanitarian Aid, Emergency and Relief Unit at the Misr El-Khair charity foundation.

At the intelligence service Qutb held a number of important files, including Africa, the Nile Basin countries, Iraq during the Saddam era, and Israel-Palestine negotiations.

Egypt's first post-Mubarak presidential election will take place in May. Registration for candidates will open on 10 March, allowing one and a half months for campaigning.

Some revolutionary groups have for months been pushing for earlier presidential elections and for the ruling military council to immediately hand over power to a civil authority.