Egypt Spy Chief Omar Soliman Named Vice President

Some developing news out of Egypt, where president Mubarak has just appointed Omar Soliman as vice president. This is a notable event as it is the first time since 1981 that Egypt has a Vice President, indicating just how much of a pseudo-dictatorial system the Mubarak regime has been. We are rather confident that the people will not be all that excited about getting the former head of the country's intelligence (read spying) service as the second in command. And just like in Russia during the Yeltsin-Putin succession, we are confident that Mubarak will promptly fade from the scene as soon as Soliman gives him reps and warranties (preferably better than those by Bank of America) that he will not be prosecuted. Incidentally, the last time Egypt had a VP was when Anwar Al Sadat appointed Mubarak as VP. Al Sadat was assassinated shortly thereafter.

Below is Soliman's bio from Wikipedia (already updated for his promotion):

Early life and education

Suleiman was born in Qena in Southern Egypt. He left Qena for Cairo in 1954, at the age of nineteen, to enroll in Egypt's prestigious Military Academy. He received additional military training in the former Soviet Union at Moscow's Frunze Military Academy. Furthermore, he holds bachelors and master degrees in Political Science from Ain Shams and Cairo Universities in the mid-1980s. Suleiman was transferred to military intelligence, where he began what was to be a long relationship between Egypt and the United States.

Egyptian intelligence career

Suleiman became the director of military intelligence in 1991.

Chief of Intelligence Office

Suleiman became the chief of Egyptian Intelligence in 1993. His name has become known only in the last years, breaking the tradition of keeping the name of the Egyptian head of Intelligence a secret known only to top government officials. It was released in the media around 2000. Suleiman has acquired a more public profile while trying to broker a deal between the different armed Palestinian groups vying for power in Gaza as the top presidential envoy from President Hosni Mubarak as well as brokering deals or truces between the Palestinians and Israel. His perceived role in negotiations between Palestinian groups gave him the image of an effective behind-the-scenes figure in the Egyptian government as well as identifying him as potentially useful to foreign governments such those of the Arab countries, Israel, the Palestinians and the United States.

Future political role

In recent years, due to his role in the regional political scene and the lack of an alternative candidate acceptable to Hosni Mubarak, some have speculated that Suleiman will succeed Mubarak as President, or at least become a Vice-President. Neither Suleiman nor the National Democratic Party spoke of this or commented on any future political role for Suleiman.

On January 29 2011, he was named vice-president during the January revolution.