World Bulletin / News Desk
Senior advisers have revealed that plans to install Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi as the president of Egypt were drawn up long before former dictator Hosni Mubarak was even removed from office.
Speaking to the Telegraph, advisers said that Sisi was chosen to lead the country before he had even became the top general of the army, while he was still just in charge of military intelligence back in 2010.
Back then, differences were beginning to emerge between the 82-year-old Hosni Mubarak and the army, which was then under the command of Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi. It was feared that Mubarak's plan to pass on the leadership position to his son would stir social unrest.
Sisi had in a report stated his belief that the army need to play a more direct role in the country's administration in a report he drew up regarding Egypt's political future. The 2011 Arab Spring uprising, which was triggered by protests in Tunisia, then gave the Egyptian army the mandate to spill onto the streets 'for the interest of the Egyptian people'.
Even before Hosni Mubarak was forced to resign in February 2011, “the army already had plans to deploy,” Hassan Nafaa, a prominent political scientist, told the Telegraph.
“I came to the conclusion that the army took advantage of the revolution to get rid of Mr Mubarak’s scheme of succession - maybe also that they had to sacrifice Mubarak, rather than the regime itself,” he added.
Before being elected as president in Egypt's election last weeked, gaining a landslide victory over his only rival Hamdeen Sabahi with 97% of the votes, Sisi was serving as the interim government's defence minister. It has also been claimed that he had already been hand-picked by former general Tantawi to take the post ahead of second-in-command Sami Enan while he was still as colonel.
“Even when he was still a colonel, we all knew he would be the next defence minister,” said a senior military officer told the Telegraph.
Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first elected president and Muslim Brotherhood affiliate, replaced General Tantawi with Sisi shortly after his election, as Sisi was known for being a devout Muslim. However, Sisi was also very close with Tantawi, who according to many would refer to Sisi as his 'son'.
On July 3, Sisi took advantage of mass demonstrations against Morsi's rule, which was plagued with economic problems, and carried out a military coup on the government. However, the interim government that came to power afterwards has struggled to assert its control and legitimacy over the Egyptian people, many of whom fear a reversion to the old regime of Hosni Mubarak.
Although Sisi was elected by 97% of voters, the voter turnout in the elections was much lower than expected, indicating that Sisi will have a difficult time now trying to pick up the pieces of a shattered political system.
UAE would 'participate in any international effort demanding a ground intervention to fight terrorism', State Minister for Foreign Affairs says
Damascus's denial comes as growing number of countries have cast doubt on whether Syrian regime is truly making efforts to destroy its lethal arms
Local Turkmen commander asserts there are no Daesh militants in Syria's northwestern Bayirbucak region
Planned meeting of Syrian opposition groups in Riyadh in December could boost unity within opposition forces to enter talks on ending the conflict
PM Abadi's remarks come a day after American senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham advocated to nearly triple number of US troops in Iraq
France's top diplomat says it is 'obvious' Assad could not work alongside moderate opposition in Syria
Latest arrests come one day after four policemen are killed in drive-by shooting south of capital Cairo
Jewish state slaps Swede of Palestinian descent with 18 months for allegedly spying for Lebanese armed group
The destroyed bakery was serving 40,000 people per day, owners say
Angered by EU move to label goods from illegal settlements, Israel suspends its role in peace talks with Palestinians
Ground fighting and air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition killed 12 rebels in Daleh province, military sources say; four loyalists were also killed
Declaration comes after the head of International Atomic Energy Agency said a report into the possible military dimensions of Iran's activities would not be 'black and white'
'There was a slight intrusion a mile deep by a Russian plane from Syria into our airspace, but it was immediately resolved and the Russian plane returned towards Syria,' Israeli defense minister says
Protest by the kingdom appeared to refer to remarks posted on Khamenei's Twitter account accusing Bahrain's 'tyrant minority' of 'desecrating' things sacred to the Shiite majority
Policemen died when the assailants fired on their vehicle in an area between the famed Giza pyramids west of Cairo and the Saqarra pyramids to the south
A new oil contract will replace a buy back programme and new joint ventures with international companies once the sanctions are lifted next year