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Fact Sheets: Egyptian Presidential Elections - Omar Suleiman

(Updated June 2012)

Omar Suleiman was appointed Vice President of Egypt by President Hosni Mubarak on January 29, 2011. From 1993 until his appointment in 2011, he served as Minister without Portfolio and Director of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate (EGID), Egypt's national intelligence agency often referred to as Mukhabarat.

His appointment as Vice President amidst the Egyptian January 2011 revolution mde him appear as a likely successor to Mubarak. According to classified U.S. diplomatic cables leaked by the whistleblower site WikiLeaks, he was the preferred candidate by Israel and the U.S. to replace Mubarak due to his past cooperation with both nation on counterterrorism efforts.

In April 2012, Suleiman announced that he would be a candidate in the May 2012 presidential elections after having earlier said he would not run. On April 16, however, the Surpeme Presidential Election Committee disqualified Suleiman from running on the basis that he did not collect the requisite number of public votes or official endorsements.

In July 2012, while in Cleveland, Suleiman died from lung and heart problems on July 19, 2012 while in Cleveland.

Below is a sampling of his views on certain important issues:
Changing the Government | Relations with Israel | Cooperating with Islamists

On Changing the Government in Egypt

- " I would never agree to be just an image. The head of state has to have real power, and I think that the country is in need of a strong president who would bring stability and security ... Egypt will always be and continue to be a national democratic state where its children enjoy full rights."
(The Telegraph, April 2012)

- " The clock cannot be turned back and the revolution laid down a new reality that cannot be ignored ... no-one, no matter who he is, will be able to reinvent a regime that fell, folded and was rejected and revolted against."
(BBC, April 2012)

- "Those who think that my candidacy for president means reinventing the former regime must realise that being the head of the General Intelligence Department or vice-president for a few days does not mean that I was part of an institution against which people revolted."
(BBC, April 2012)

- "The process needs time ... its a process that's starting by national dialogue."
(ABC News, February 2011)

On Islamists & the Muslim Brotherhood

- "[The MB has] lost a lot of its popularity ... There has been a change on the Egyptian street. The practises of the Brotherhood and their monopolistic ways and unacceptable pronouncements have contributed to the change in public opinion."
(BBC, April 2012)

- "Ever since the announcement that I was running, I have received threats and messages that 'We will take our revenge' from elements of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups ... If some people think such threats will make me go back on his decision, they are mistaken."
(The Daily Star, April 2012)

- “[The MB] It is neither a religious organization, not a social organization, not a political party but a combination of all three.”
(Guardian, February 2006)

- “The [Muslim Brotherhood] helped create 11 different Islamist extremist organizations.”
(Guardian, February 2006)

On Policy Toward Israel

- "Yes, we will have a peace agreement ... We will keep it firmly and not violate it at all."
(ABC News, February 2011)

- “We are putting all our efforts to prevent these transfers [of weapons to Hamas in Gaza] completely.  It is not only a threat to Israel, but also a threat to us.”
(InfoLiveTV, January 2010)