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'Mubarak's aides behind head of Egyptian military council's campaign for president'

October 27, 2011 - Cairo

Egypt's activists fear that associates of deposed President Hosni Mubarak may be behind the campaign in which posters calling for the head of the country's military council to run for President are being put up around Cairo.

According to The Telegraph, the posters portray a smiling Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who became Egyptian leader for a transitional period until elections after the armed forces sided with an uprising that overthrew Mubarak on February 11.

Army officers had earlier denied that the armed forces would field a presidential candidate.

The posters glued to buildings in public places showed Tantawi in uniform with the Egyptian flag as the backdrop.

"A popular demand for stability", they said, referring to Tantawi who heads the 24-member ruling military council.

Independent activists claim that the poster campaign seem to have been organized by Mubarak-era associates.

"The campaign and the posters carry the mark of Mubarak's henchman whose interest is keeping the usual suspects in power," activist Saad Bahaar said, adding: "It aims to convince people that no one, but those in power could guarantee stability."

Meanwhile, jurist Hesham al-Bastawisy objected to the idea of a Tantawi candidacy, saying it would fly in the face of the demands of the uprising which was to end military-influenced rule.

"As the leader of the council managing the transitional period, Tantawi cannot run for president because he is already in power. This would mean the army setting the political stage at the expense of the democratic transition," he said.

The military council has said that it would transfer power to civilians gradually, beginning with a parliamentary election on November 28 and ending with a presidential poll possibly by the end of 2012 or early 2013.


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