As the death toll in ongoing protests rose to 62, embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak named Omar Suleiman, the country’s head of intelligence, as vice president, bumping Mubarak’s son Gamal from the line of succession. –JCL

Los Angeles Times:

Egypt’s top intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, has been named the country’s new vice president, a move that signals President Hosni Mubarak is turning to a trusted ruling party insider during days of deadly mass protests and one of his worst political crises.

Suleiman, who is respected by the West and is credited with saving Mubarak from assassination in 1995, is an erudite diplomat who for years has been Egypt’s main negotiator with the Palestinians. The appointment suggests that Mubarak’s son Gamal, whom many regarded as a likely successor, may no longer, at least in the short term, be a contender.

“Any prospects of succession are now over,” said Mustafa Labbad, director of the Al Shaq Center for Regional and Strategic Studies. “But Egyptians will not accept Suleiman as a leader of the country after Mubarak because of his connection to the old regime.”

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