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Egypt's president names deputy for 1st time

 Smoke billows from a building following overnight clashes between Egyptian security forces and anti-government activists in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, J...
 Egyptian anti-government protesters who spent the night in Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt,  are seen backdropped by smoke billowing from a burning bui...
 An Egyptian anti-government activist, wounded during clashes with police, poses for the photographer along with other protesters in Tahrir square in ...
 Egyptian soldiers stand on top of APC vehicles in Tahrir Square, central Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. Mobile phone service have been partia...
 An Egyptian man walks past an army tank in Tahrir Square, central Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. Mobile phone service have been partially res...
 Egyptian army soldiers stand next to their armored personnel carriers as anti-government protesters, not seen, gather in Tahrir square in Cairo, Egyp...
 The Egyptian museum is seen intact, right, as smoke billows from the ruling National Democratic party building, torched by anti government protesters...
 Anti-government protesters sleep on the ground in Tahrir Square, central Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. Mobile phone service have been partia...
 Egyptian anti-government protesters use their mobile phones to take pictures of a colleague posing in front of a burned Egyptian army armoured person...
 Egyptian army soldiers sit and stand atop their armored personnel carriers as anti-government protesters gather in Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt, Sat...
 An Egyptian anti-government protester jumps from a burned armored personnel carrier as an Egyptian army tank is seen in Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt...
 An anti-government protester stands on top of a burnt-out APC vehicle in Tahrir Square, central Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Tara...
 Egyptian protesters greet army soldiers atop military vehicles as they pass along the street in central Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. Hundre...
 Egyptian anti-government activists, one of them holding a crossed-out portrait of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, chant slogans as they protest in ...
 Egyptians gesture as they stand atop an Egyptian army armored vehicle as they celebrate in downtown Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. Hundreds o...
 Egyptian anti-government protesters climb atop an Egyptian army armored personnel carrier in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Ben Cur...
 Egyptian tourist guides and security sit near the Pyramids, in Giza, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. The Pyramids are closed to tourists. (AP Photo/V...
 An army officer who joined anti-government protester tears up a picture of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, downtown Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29...
 Egyptians carry the body of a protester who was killed during clashes with anti-riot police in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. Hundreds of ant...

APTOPIX Mideast Egypt Protest

Smoke billows from a building following overnight clashes between Egyptian security forces and anti-government activists in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, J...

Mideast Egypt Protest

Egyptian anti-government protesters who spent the night in Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt, are seen backdropped by smoke billowing from a burning bui...

APTOPIX Mideast Egypt Protest

An Egyptian anti-government activist, wounded during clashes with police, poses for the photographer along with other protesters in Tahrir square in ...

Mideast Egypt Protest

Egyptian soldiers stand on top of APC vehicles in Tahrir Square, central Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. Mobile phone service have been partia...

Mideast Egypt Protest

An Egyptian man walks past an army tank in Tahrir Square, central Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. Mobile phone service have been partially res...

Mideast Egypt Protest

Egyptian army soldiers stand next to their armored personnel carriers as anti-government protesters, not seen, gather in Tahrir square in Cairo, Egyp...

APTOPIX Mideast Egypt Protest

The Egyptian museum is seen intact, right, as smoke billows from the ruling National Democratic party building, torched by anti government protesters...

Mideast Egypt Protest

Anti-government protesters sleep on the ground in Tahrir Square, central Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. Mobile phone service have been partia...

Mideast Egypt Protest

Egyptian anti-government protesters use their mobile phones to take pictures of a colleague posing in front of a burned Egyptian army armoured person...

Mideast Egypt Protest

Egyptian army soldiers sit and stand atop their armored personnel carriers as anti-government protesters gather in Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt, Sat...

Mideast Egypt Protest

An Egyptian anti-government protester jumps from a burned armored personnel carrier as an Egyptian army tank is seen in Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt...

Mideast Egypt Protest

An anti-government protester stands on top of a burnt-out APC vehicle in Tahrir Square, central Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Tara...

Mideast Egypt Protest

Egyptian protesters greet army soldiers atop military vehicles as they pass along the street in central Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. Hundre...

APTOPIX Mideast Egypt Protest

Egyptian anti-government activists, one of them holding a crossed-out portrait of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, chant slogans as they protest in ...

Mideast Egypt Protest

Egyptians gesture as they stand atop an Egyptian army armored vehicle as they celebrate in downtown Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. Hundreds o...

Mideast Egypt Protest

Egyptian anti-government protesters climb atop an Egyptian army armored personnel carrier in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. (AP Photo/Ben Cur...

Mideast Egypt Protest

Egyptian tourist guides and security sit near the Pyramids, in Giza, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. The Pyramids are closed to tourists. (AP Photo/V...

APTOPIX Mideast Egypt Protest

An army officer who joined anti-government protester tears up a picture of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, downtown Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29...

Mideast Egypt Protest

Egyptians carry the body of a protester who was killed during clashes with anti-riot police in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011. Hundreds of ant...

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak named a vice president Saturday for the first time since coming to power nearly 30 years ago. It was a clear step toward setting up a successor in the midst of the biggest challenge ever to his rule from tens of thousands of anti-government protesters.
Mubarak named his intelligence chief of nearly two decades and close confidant Omar Suleiman, state television reported.
The president had been seen as grooming his son Gamal to succeed him, possibly even as soon as in presidential elections planned for later this year. However, there was significant public opposition to the hereditary succession.
The appointment of Suleiman, 74, answers one of the most intriguing and enduring political questions in Egypt: Who will succeed 82-year-old Mubarak?
Another question is whether his appointment will calm the chaotic streets of Egypt's cities. In the capital Cairo, looting was rampant on Saturday and lawlessness was spreading fast. Residents of affluent neighborhoods in the capital were even boarding up their houses against gangs of thugs roaming the streets with knives and sticks.
The tens of thousands who have been out for five days confronting police are unified in one overarching demand _ Mubarak and his family must go. The movement is a culmination of years of simmering frustration over a government they see as corrupt, heavy-handed and neglectful of grinding poverty.
Mubarak sacked his Cabinet Saturday and promised reforms to try to quell the protests, but it did not satisfy the demonstrators who were out in force again to demand a complete change of regime.
Like Mubarak, Suleiman has a military background. The powerful military has provided Egypt with its four presidents since the monarchy was toppled nearly 60 years ago. He has been in charge of some of Egypt's most sensitive foreign policy issues, including the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
Suleiman, additionally, is widely seen as a central regime figure, a position that protesters were likely to view negatively.
Mubarak also named his new prime minister Ahmed Shafiq, the outgoing civil aviation minister and fellow former air force officer.
Both appointments perpetuate the military's overriding role in Egyptian politics.


Updated : 2020-12-04 10:07 GMT+08:00