Mubarak's appointment Suleiman as VP likely to appease military, not people: Analysts

Cairo, Jan 30 (ANI): Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak step to chose the country's intelligence chief Omar Suleiman as the Vice President is viewed by many analysts as a move to appease the military and continue his authoritarian rule through his close ally, rather than considering people's demand for freedom.

"I think basically this is a way of paving the way for a military-led regime in a so-called constitutional context. It is clearly the result of negotiations with the army," The New York Times quoted Ragui Assaad, a professor at the University of Minnesota, as saying.

Amid massive protests across the country, Mubarak swore Suleiman on Saturday to be his second in command.

According to reports, Suleiman became a trusted man of the President after he saved Mubarak's life in 1995 in Ethiopia. Despite his vehicle being targeted by a gunman, Mubarak escaped unharmed with Suleiman's help.

"The president is choosing a man he can trust while he is on shaky ground. There is no doubt that the president doesn't know what will happen tomorrow," Mahmoud Shokry, a former ambassador to Syria and personal friend of Suleiman, said.

Seventy-four-year-old Suleiman has run Egypt's General Intelligence Service since 1993, taking over as the nation was battling Islamic extremists, and has fought in two wars with Israel like Mubarak.

He is said to hold a similar worldview, deeply distrusting Iran, favouring close relations with Washington, supporting the cold peace with Israel, and against easing up on the Muslim Brotherhood, the principal opposition group in Egypt. He has managed most of Egypt's hottest issues, including dealing with Hamas, Hezbollah and Sudan, the paper said.

Analysts believe that by choosing him, Mubarak is apparent considering his safety and a smooth exit from power, if situations demands, it added. (ANI)

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