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Egypt Envoy to DC: Mubarak Has Handed Off to Suleiman

Egypt Envoy to DC: Mubarak Has Handed Off to Suleiman

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Egyptian ambassador to the United States says President Hosni Mubarak has relinquished his powers to Omar Suleiman, the vice president.

"President Mubarak transfered the powers of his presidency to his vice president," Sameh Shoukry told CNN in a phone call he said he made to clarify its reporting of Mubarak’s speech Thursday night. "We can say the president is the de jure president and the vice president is the de facto president."

Pressed as to whether Mubarak now had no powers, Shoukry said: "That is an interpretation you can make."

CNN, like other media, said that Mubarak in his speech had transfered some unidentified "powers" to Suleiman, a former intelligence chief known for his good relations with Israel and the West, but had also indicated his intention to remain in office until elections take place in September.

Shoukry, who said he would relay the same message to the Obama administration, said Suleiman now held all but three presidential powers — to amend the constitution, to dissolve parliament and to fire the Cabinet.

Those three powers are "now in the hands of no one," he said.

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