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Egypt’s Sisi appoints navy commander as vice president

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi speaks during the celebration of Africa Day, in Cairo, Egypt, on 25 May, 2019 [Egyptian President Office]
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi speaks during the celebration of Africa Day, in Cairo, Egypt, on 25 May 2019 [Egyptian President Office]

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi will appoint a navy commander as his vice president in a role that has not been occupied since 2013, according to a report published by the New Arab.

The post was reopened after Al-Sisi’s constitutional amendments were pushed through in April, which gave him the power to appoint two vice presidents, define their role, give them power and also relieve them of their duties.

The post was originally removed after the adoption of the 2012 constitution. Mohamed El-Baradei was the last to take on the role in 2013 but resigned after just one month in protest of the Rabaa massacre.

The amendments also allowed Al-Sisi to extend his time in office to six years from four and to run for a third term until 2030.

Navy Commander Lieutenant-General Ahmed Khaled Hassan and the president became close over the last two years with Al-Sisi consulting him on a number of issues, sources told the New Arab.

Hassan was appointed by Al-Sisi in 2017 as commander of the naval forces and will now be replaced by Chief of Staff of the Navy Ahraf Ibrahim Atwa Mogahed.

READ: Egypt appoints new governors, ‘anticipates cabinet reshuffle’

Al-Sisi has consistently put military people into key government positions to compound the widespread influence the army exerts over the country and its institutions. Al-Sisi himself was defence minister before he toppled Mohamed Morsi in the 2013 coup.

In March this year he appointed a senior army officer Major General Kamel El-Wazir, head of the country’s military engineering authority, as transportation minister after a train crash in Cairo which killed 25 people led to the resignation of his predecessor.

Egypt’s Minister of Defence, Mohamed Ahmed Zaki, was previously commander of the elite Republican Guard which guards the president. Interior Minister Major General Mahmoud Tawfik was previously head of the National Security department.

Ahead of an expected cabinet reshuffle Sisi has just appointed 16 new provisional governors, 11 of which held senior security or army roles prior to being appointed.

READ: Egypt paper raided after revelations about Sisi’s son

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