Mansour and el-Sissi – the two men running Egypt

 Judge Adly Mansour has been sworn in as interim president in Egypt after Mohammed Morsi’s outing, but the real powerhouse is the military, which is led by General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

“I swear by God to honor the law and the constitution and to serve justice.” Barely 24 hours after President Mohammed Morsi had been ousted, Adly Mansour was sworn in as interim president.

Army head Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi had announced Morsi’s ouster in a televised address the previous evening. After days of mass protests against Morsi, the general had set the first democratically elected president in Egypt a 48-hour ultimatum to respond to the will of the people. Until fresh elections are called, Mansour is to serve as interim president along with a technocrat government.

Mansour served under Morsi, Mubarak

“Mansour is relatively unknown in Egypt’s political scene,” says Christian Achrainer, political scientist at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP).

The 67-year-old Mansour, who has been working for the country’s constitutional court since 1992, had been in office as president of the court for just two days when the military pushed Morsi out. Morsi had appointed Mansour to the post after his predecessor, Maher al-Behairis retired at the end of June.

‘Young’ general in key role

But the military is the most powerful force in the country – now as much as after the coup of 1952 and after the fall of Mubarak in 2011.

“Without the armed forces Mansour would not be president, they are in the driving seat,” says Ronald Meinardus of the Friedrich-Naumann Foundation’s bureau in Cairo.

Abdel Fattah el-Sissi is the head of the armed forces. He succeeded Hussein Tantawi as defense minister in August 2012 and is a practicing Muslim. But he was also “educated in the tradition of Nasserism,” says Meinardus. “The Egyptian military comes from that tradition. The officers are actually secular.” Former president Abdel Nasser was known as a vehement critic of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Aged 58, El-Sissi is one of the youngest generals and didn’t serve in the wars against Israel in 1967 and 1973. After the fall of Mubarak he became the youngest member of the ruling Supreme Military Council and head of the military intelligence service.

Full article: Mansour and el-Sissi – the two men running Egypt (Deutsche Welle)

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