Thursday, February 10, 2011

Egypt crisis: Doubts rise over Omar Suleiman's handling of situation

Egyptians now feel the Mubarak regime has lost the initiative as momentum shifts back to the streets
Ian Black, Middle East editor, Wednesday 9 February 2011

"Omar Suleiman may be starting to deserve the adjective "embattled" that has often been attached to his boss, Hosni Mubarak, since Egypt's uprising began.

Appointed vice-president as a safe and loyal pair of hands, Mubarak's former intelligence chief has been mandated to run "an inclusive and serious national dialogue with participants from the whole political spectrum to deliver an orderly transition to democracy by September".

But doubts about the regime's real intentions, present from the start of the crisis, are growing fast.

The first talks on Sunday were inconclusive. The impression is strengthening, say analysts in Egypt and abroad, that Suleiman is not serious about a constitutional review, a timetable for change, protecting freedom of expression, allowing peaceful protest, and ending the state of emergency. His remarks on Tuesday, rejecting an immediate departure by Mubarak or any "end to the regime", did not sit well with his wish to resolve the crisis through dialogue. His warning of a possible "coup" sounded like a threat of more overt military intervention than has been seen so far......"

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