General Sami Anan Reuters)
General Sami Anan, the chief of staff of the Egyptian armed forces and member of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) held telephone interviews last night with the media where he stated that the Egyptian people should expect "good news" very soon.
Rumours spread Sunday night that General Anan had a heart attack, which he denied himself in phone calls to three television channels: Al Youm TV, Modern Horreya and Egyptian National TV on channel one.
The good news, says Anan, is that the SCAF is currently looking into restructuring the ministry of interior as well as the possibility of opening registration for candidates to pitch their bid early for president (on 23 February). He said this was in response to suggestions by their advisory council, which is made up of popular, high-profile people appointed by the SCAF themselves.
Anan assured that the SCAF would be careful to hand over power to a civilian authority elected through fair elections and that they will stick to the timetable they had already announced.
The chief of staff mentioned that military units are securing the ministry of interior and the people’s assembly (lower house of parliament) building in cooperation with the police force. Protests are ongoing at both sites, with state forces occasionally attacking demonstrators.
A year of violence and attacks has raised the pressure on the SCAF to exit power and for the ministry of interior to be restructured and cleansed of any ex-regime loyalists. The most recent bout of violence is the attack against Ultras Ahly football fans during a match.
Some suggest that the attackers were related to the state and attacked as a sort of vengeance for the Ultras' active participation in the revolution, which often pitted them against police and security forces. Others assume, however, that the attacks were by the opposing team's fans (Masry), but still blame the state for lazy security.