Omar Suleiman seeks tribal support for presidency in Upper Egypt

Ahram Online, Tuesday 10 Apr 2012

Presidential candidate visits home governorate of Qena to rally support among tribal groups, meets opposition from Nasserist students at Ganoub El-Wadi University

Omar Suleiman
Former Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman (Photo: Reuters)

Omar Suleiman’s campaign team has announced that various tribes in Qena and the Red Sea governorates are supporting his presidential bid. Meanwhile, revolutionary movements in Qena have declared their opposition to his campaign.

"Most tribes will support Omar Suleiman, especially in Qena because that is where he was born," his campaign coordinator, Mohamed Afify, told Ahram Online.

Meanwhile, Nasserist revolutionary groups have attacked Suleiman during a visit to Qena’s Ganoub El-Wadi University. They chanted against him, saying he was a pillar of the old regime which had promoted only ignorance and tribalism.  

Omar Suleiman was Mubarak’s general intelligence chief from 1993 to 2011. He also served briefly as vice president during the 18-day uprising in 2011.

Suleiman was born in 1939 in the Qena governorate. He graduated from the Military Academy in 1945 and studied political science at Ain Shams and Cairo Universities. He also received military training in the Soviet Union.

During his years as Egypt’s top spy chief, Suleiman’s name was linked to numerous human rights abuses, including the notorious CIA rendition programme through which suspected terrorists were sent to Egypt for questioning and torture.

Although Suleiman had earlier declared that he would not run for president, he announced that he had changed his mind after being urged to stand by thousands of supporters at a rally in Cairo’s Abbasiya district on Friday.

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