Exclusive: Sisi will appoint navy commander as Egypt's VP

Exclusive: Sisi will appoint navy commander as Egypt's first vice president since Mubarak era
2 min read
27 November, 2019
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will appoint commander of the navy Lieutenant-General Ahmed Khaled Hassan as his vice president.
President Sisi has chosen a new vice president [Getty]
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will appoint navy commander Lieutenant-General Ahmed Khaled Hassan as his vice president, several sources told The New Arab's Arabic-language service.

The commander of the navy was present when President Sisi inaugurated several projects at Port Said yesterday, which the sources said was unusual.

A source within Egypt's military told The New Arab that Chief of Staff of the Navy Ashraf Ibrahim Atwa Mogahed had been ordered to prepare to take over the commander's position.

The sources also said Lieutenant-General Hassan, 61, had grown close to President Sisi in the last two years. President Sisi allegedly consulted the navy commander in matters outside of his usual rapport.   

The navy commander was promoted to his current position in 2017. 

The position of Egypt's vice president has been vacant since 2013, following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi and the crackdown by security forces on his supporters.

Controversial constitutional amendments introduced last April reintroduced the position and gave President Sisi the power to appoint one or more deputies, define their duties, delegate them some of his powers, and relieve them of their posts.

The amendments, dubbed the 'Pharaoh motion', allow President Sisi to stay in power until 2030.

The constitutional changes, first introduced in February, by a pro-Sisi parliamentary block, bolster Sisi's powers as president, giving him the authority to appoint high-level judges and bypass judicial oversight on legislation.

Opposition figures have called the proposals an "Arab Spring in reverse" and an "attempt to derail the movement towards a modern civil democratic state".

Since Sisi's rise in 2013, Egypt has drawn heavy international criticism for its sweeping crackdown on dissent. 

The authorities have jailed thousands of Morsi's supporters as well as liberal and secular activists, including a popular blogger, actors, singers and journalists. 

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