By Yasmine Saleh / Reuters
CAIRO: The man appointed as Egypt’s vice-president in the dying days of Hosni Mubarak’s rule will not run for head of state in an election later this year, a local newspaper reported on Friday.
Omar Suleiman, a former intelligence chief and one of Mubarak’s closest confidants, was named to the number two job in a failed attempt to calm a popular uprising. It was Suleiman who announced that Mubarak was stepping down and handing over power to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces on Feb. 11.
“General Omar Suleiman has confirmed that he is not thinking of nominating himself for the presidency,” Egypt’s Al-Ahram daily said, quoting Suleiman, adding that he wanted to spend time to “relax … and look after his family”.
No date has yet been set for the presidential election, but the military council has said it will be held before the end of 2011.
Suleiman had never said he would stand but local media had cited him as a possible candidate. Some of his supporters had launched campaigns on Facebook calling on him to run.
Egypt’s military rulers last month launched an online survey to test the popularity of potential presidential candidates that included Suleiman’s name along with at least three other ex-military officers, alongside Islamists, judges, diplomats and other political figures.