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Brotherhood asked ex-spy chief Suleiman to run for Egypt presidency : former aide

Former aide to intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, who passed away last year, said that Brotherhood wanted Suleiman to become a 'puppet president'

Ahram Online, Tuesday 25 Jun 2013
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Hussein Kamel during the press conference in Cairo on 25 June, 2013 (Photo: Ahram)
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Views: 2972

The Muslim Brotherhood asked Egypt's former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman to nominate himself for presidency in 2011, Hussein Kamal, former head of Sulieman's office, said on Tuesday.

Kamal said in a press conference in Cairo that a representative of the Brotherhood – from which current President Mohamed Morsi hails – visited Suleiman in Alexandria in the summer of 2011 and asked him to nominate himself for presidential elections.

According to Kamal, the representative told Suleiman, who passed away in July 2012, that this would be on the condition that his vice-president and executive office be made up of Brotherhood members.

"They wanted him to be a puppet president who would implement the orders of the [Brotherhood's] guidance office," Kamal said.

"They gave [Suleiman] three months to think about it, but he refused," he added.

Suleiman announced in 2012 that he would run for presidential elections. However, his presidential bid was turned down by the Supreme Presidential Electoral Committee (SPEC) because he failed to acquire the number of recommendations stipulated by the electoral law.

In a conference held to "reveal information about the Brotherhood's rule," Kamal, who currently does not hold any official position, said that he does not represent the Egyptian General Intelligence Service and is speaking for himself as an "Egyptian citizen." 

Kamal, who was also Suleiman's office head when the former intelligence chief was appointed the country's vice-president during the 18-day January 2011 uprising, talked about Morsi's November 2012 constitutional decree, saying that it was sent to the presidency "in an envelope from the [Brotherhood's] guidance office."  

In addition, he expressed his support for anti-government protests planned for 30 June.

The protests called for by the ‘Rebel’ campaign and endorsed by several opposition forces including the National Salvation Front (NSF) aim at forcing Morsi to step down and call for early presidential elections.

"This is not an incitement, but if people do not take to the streets [on 30 June], then no one should speak out again," Kamal said.

"If people stay home then they are content with the current situation," he added. "The upcoming protests are like a referendum on the economic, social and security situation of Egypt."  

Kamal described the performance of the Brotherhood and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), who have a parliamentary majority, as a "failure."

In addition, Kamal attacked Qatar calling it a "statelet."

Qatar has been a prominent source of foreign aid to Egypt since Morsi came to power.

"Who is Qatar's [prime minister] to say that his country will not leave Egypt bankrupt?" he asked.  

Qatari prime minister Hamad bin Jassem said in January that his country would not see Egypt's economic situation deteriorate to the level of bankruptcy.

The Qatari-owned Al Jazeera Mubashar Masr news channel cut off the broadcast of the conference as Kamal made the comments.

Kamal said that former president Hosni Mubarak helped the father of former Qatar emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani when the sheikh overthrew his father in 1995.

Kamal claimed that by helping Egypt financially, Qatar wants to abuse its economy as "it is the Egyptian people who will repay these loans."  

Kamal first came to prominence when he appeared standing behind Suleiman during a famous television address on 11 February 2011, when he announced that Mubarak had stepped down and handed over his powers to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).

Tuesday’s press conference was the first such media appearance by Kamal.

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