“Speculation of a civil war is gaining momentum on a daily basis," Khamenei said. “This would be a disaster with dire consequences."

Egypt’s generals urged to tighten their grip on power

Exclusive: Former head of military intelligence is possible presidential candidate in the coming elections

Alastair Beach

Saturday, 10 August 2013

As Egyptians were coming to terms with the chaos and bloodshed that blighted the holy month of Ramadan, a number of the country’s wealthiest businessmen sat down for a dinner of lamb kebabs and stuffed courgettes.

Among them were two of Egypt’s most prominent television moguls; Mohamed el-Amin, head of the hugely popular CBC channel, and Ahmad Bahgat, the magnate behind Egypt’s first-ever private station, Dream TV. Hosting them all in his Cairo home was Hassan Rateb, another wealthy TV channel boss.

But one of Mr Rateb’s invitees did not quite fit the profile of the assorted businessmen and anti-Islamist politicians who were present that evening – Murad Mowafy, Egypt’s former spy chief and the man who is now being courted by influential powerbrokers to become the country’s next president.

Just two years after Egyptians revolted against the military-backed regime that held power for sixty years, the Independent can reveal that powerful business figures are now pushing for an army man to make a bid for power.

According to a source who was present during the dinner, Mr Mowafy was on the guest list that evening because TV channel bosses were trying to persuade him to run for Egypt’s top job at the coming elections.

“They were telling him to go for the presidency,” said the source, speaking to The Independent. “They were saying he would have their total support if he did.”

The source, who asked not to be identified, said Mr Mowafy neither confirmed to his hosts nor denied that he would be considering a run to succeed Mohamed Morsi. “He seemed to be declining more than accepting, but he never said anything directly.” The Independent tried to contact the TV bosses who were present but received no response. But the revelation that Egypt’s ex-intelligence chief – along with other rumoured military figures – is being touted as a candidate has triggered a wave of soul-searching and debate among some liberal and secular politicians, most of whom realise the enormous implications of replacing Mr Morsi with a former military man.

“If the next President of Egypt is from a military background then this will be a negative sign,” said Ahmed Khairy, a liberal politician. “Critics will say to us, ‘you said this was not a military coup, but now you have a President from the military’.”

30-egypt-ap.jpg
Following the toppling of Mohamed Morsi on 3 July, Egypt’s generals appeared at great pains to emphasise that the coming transition would be civilian-led. A former judge was immediately anointed as the new interim President – part of the point-by-point transitional road-map that was quickly announced.

Since then, the initial hopes that officers would steer clear of politics have begun to dissipate. General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s commander in chief and leader of the coup that toppled Morsi – who also holds two cabinet posts – gave a speech last month in which he called on Egyptians to grant him a mandate to crack down on ‘terrorism’ by staging mass rallies across the country.

Some observers questioned why Adli Mansour, the interim President, had not been tasked with delivering the speech.

General al-Sisi himself has been touted as a prospective presidential candidate. A mild cult of personality has begun to develop among those Egyptians who credit him with rescuing them from the perceived threat of Brotherhood rule. Other names whirling around the political party rumour mill include Sami Anan, the former chief of staff who was also dismissed by Morsi after his election, and Hossam Khairallah, a former air force captain who ran for the Presidency  last year.

The prospect of a military candidacy would be met with met by incredulity among some Egyptian revolutionaries. “The Egyptian revolution was about overthrowing the power of a military which had governed for itself for 60 years,” said Aalam Wassef, a film-maker who has taken part in rallies opposing army intervention in Egypt.

It would also land Egypt’s liberal and secular parties in a quandary. Many are currently debating whether to rally around a single candidate to maximise their chances of a non-Islamist victory. If a credible military contender emerged, it would leave them juggling the temptation of electoral triumph with the implications of backing a traditionalist war horse.

Yet with the military’s stock on a high amid the perpetual unrest, what might have been unpalatable last year now seems a realistic prospect.

“Having someone with an army background is not a reason to reject him,” said Shehab Wagih, a liberal politician. “We will not deal with a military guy who is still in the army, but if we are dealing with someone who is retired we are dealing with an average citizen.”

Likely leaders: Top brass

Sami Anan

Sami Anan was the chief of staff dismissed by Mr Morsi. He was the right-hand man of Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who led the military council which ruled Egypt.

Murad Mowafy

For those who can still remember the 2011 revolt, Murad Mowafy may be the old regime candidate. He was the former head of the notorious mukhabarat, or secret police.

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Not a likely contender right now – but if he ran, he would win by a landslide. Egypt’s top soldier has been tipped as a possible candidate, but has so far remained tight-lipped.

埃及齋月結束示威者越聚越多 雙方都加強戒備

2013年08月10日

伊朗最高領袖哈梅內伊9日警告說:“我們對埃及發生的事深表憂慮,但願埃及不會爆發內戰。”歐盟特使雷蒙是最後一個離開埃及的外國特使,他8日離開開羅時說:“目前埃及局勢非常艱難,但仍有成功的希望。” (駐埃及特派記者 張夢旭)

德黑兰 09.08.2013, 哈梅内伊警告埃及沦入内战

伊朗最高宗教领袖哈梅内伊对埃及发生内战提出警告。这位伊朗最高领导人周五(8月9日)在庆祝开斋节的电视讲话中称,埃及爆发内战的可能性每天都在增长, 而一旦爆发,战火将无法遏制,这将是一场灾难。哈梅内伊同时警告发生外来干预。因埃及和以色列之间签订和平协议,伊朗冻结与埃及的外交关系已逾30年。自 前总统穆尔希上月初被军方罢黜以来,埃及陷入严重政治危机,在穆尔西的支持者和反对者之间一再爆发的流血冲突迄今已导致至少250人丧生。穆尔西的支持者 不接受现任过渡政府,要求恢复穆尔西的职务,遭到军方和当局的拒绝。埃及过渡政府昨天宣布,国际社会新近所作的斡旋外交努力均告失败。

…when you feel listless and lethargic, do something different.

Instead of staying in your routine, go to a park or a movie or to lunch with a friend. Change your routine a bit. Sometimes a little change of scenery does wonders.

11 minutes ago

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tawakkol Karman, who’s been vocal on Egypt since Morsi was removed from power, has written for The Guardian about her personal experience of changing her mind.

“Clearly, the leaders of the military takeover have something to conceal from the watchful eyes of the world,” she writes. “That explains why I was recently refused entry into Egypt. I now feel I have a responsibility to warn the world of the fact that a fully fledged despotic regime is seeking to reinforce its foundations in the country. The 25 January revolution guaranteed freedom of expression, of assembly and organisation. All these freedoms have been crushed in the aftermath of the coup.”

Isaiah 19:1-4

Good News Translation (GNT)

God Will Punish Egypt

19 This is a message about Egypt.

  • The Lord is coming to Egypt, riding swiftly on a cloud. The Egyptian idols tremble before him, and the people of Egypt lose their courage. The Lord says, “I will stir up civil war in Egypt and turn brother against brother and neighbor against neighbor. Rival cities will fight each other, and rival kings will struggle for power. I am going to frustrate the plans of the Egyptians and destroy their morale. They will ask their idols to help them, and they will go and consult mediums and ask the spirits of the dead for advice. I will hand the Egyptians over to a tyrant, to a cruel king who will rule them. I, the Lord Almighty, have spoken.”

In July, she retracted earlier support for protests in Egypt against Morsi.

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned on Friday that the political crisis in Egypt after the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi could spark a civil war.

“We are worried about what is happening in Egypt," he said in Eid al-Fitr remarks broadcast on state television.

“Speculation of a civil war is gaining momentum on a daily basis," Khamenei said. “This would be a disaster with dire consequences."

“What will stop the civil war if, God forbid, it happens?" he asked.

Khamenei’s comments came a day after Egypt’s interim presidency said Western and Arab initiatives to resolve its political deadlock had failed.

More than 250 people have been killed since the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi by the military on July 3, a coup which the Islamic republic condemned.

Khamenei also warned against foreign interference in Egypt, saying: “Nothing but damage for the Egyptian people will come from the interference of foreign powers."

Iran’s supreme leader strongly condemned political violence in Egypt, and called on its religious and political parties to learn from the lessons of Syria.

[AFP]

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