Egyptians launch pro-SCAF initiative

Dec. 12, 2011 at 2:50 PM

CAIRO, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- A pro-military group in Egypt said it hoped to gather 1 million signatures backing SCAF leader Hussein Tantawi for the country's next president.

Islamic groups emerged victorious from Egypt's recent elections for some members of Parliament. The elections were the first since a popular revolution unseated Hosni Mubarak after nearly 30 years in power but later than promised by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces that assumed control after the revolution.

Mahmoud Atteya, general director for the pro-military Egypt Above All coalition, said his group was collecting signatures to support a presidential bid for Tantawi.

He said he wanted to collect 1 million signatures backing Tantawi before presidential elections next year, Egyptian news agency Al-Masry Al-Youm reports.

Tantawi served as the defense minister during the Mubarak era. He was shown on state television in September touring Cairo in civilian clothing, leading to speculation he would consider a presidential bid.

Demonstrators who took to the streets before the November election chanted "erhal," Arabic for "leave," after Tantawi delivered a national address.

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