Alternate view of Egypt this AM: Stratfor - it IS a military coup
Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman delivered the following statement Feb. 11: “In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate, citizens, during these very difficult circumstances Egypt is going through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from the office of president of the republic and has charged the high council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country. May God help everybody.”
Suleiman’s statement is the clearest indication thus far that the military has carried out a coup led by Defense Minister Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi. It is not clear whether Suleiman will remain as the civilian head of the army-led government. Egypt is returning to the 1952 model of ruling the state via a council of army officers. The question now is to what extent the military elite will share power with its civilian counterparts.
At a certain point, the opposition’s euphoria will subside and demands for elections will be voiced. The United States, while supportive of the military containing the unrest, also has a strategic need to see Egypt move toward a more pluralistic system.
Whether the military stays true to its commitment to hold elections on schedule in September remains to be seen. If elections are held, however, the military must have a political vehicle in place to counter opposition forces, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood. The fate of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) thus lies in question. Without the NDP, the regime will have effectively collapsed and the military could run into greater difficulty in running the country. While the military council will be serving as the provisional government, it will likely want to retain as much of the ruling NDP as possible and incorporate elements of the opposition to manage the transition. Sustaining its hold over power while crafting a democratic government will be the biggest challenge for the military as it tries to avoid regime change while also dealing with a potential constitutional crisis.
Read more: Red Alert: Mubarak Resigns, Military is in Charge | STRATFOR
And who is this guy?
FACTBOX-Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt’s Higher Military CouncilFri Feb 11, 2011 5:05pm GMT Print | Single Page[-] Text [+]
n">Feb 11 (Reuters) - Egypt’s Defence Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi is the head of the Higher Military Council that took control of Egypt after Hosni Mubarak resigned his post as president on Friday.
Here are some facts about Tantawi:
* He was born on Oct. 31, 1935 and joined the armed forces in 1956.
* Tantawi holds the rank of Field Marshal and has served in the government of Egypt as minister of defence and military production since 1991 and a general commander for the armed forces since 1995.
* Tantawi has served in three wars against Israel, starting with the 1956 Suez Crisis and both the 1967 and 1973 Middle East wars.
* He was appointed deputy prime minister, in addition to his post as defence minister, after Mubarak sacked his cabinet in a failed attempt to calm mass protests on Jan. 29.
* His military background and seniority had led to speculation he could be a possible runner for presidency, though some analysts said he had limited support among the armed forces’ rank and file.
Good luck to everyone.
We are 1 second into the unkown