Wikileaks: Gamal Mubarak viewed Tantawi as a 'threat to his presidential ambitions'


S E C R E T CAIRO 000974
1. (C) Summary: In a recent meeting with poloff, independent parliamentarian Anwar Esmat El Sadat (protect), nephew of the former President, discussed presidential son Gamal Mubarak's possible succession of his father, and opined that Gamal increasingly views Minister of Defense Mohamed Hussein Tantawi and EGIS head Omar Suleiman as a threat to his presidential ambitions. Sadat alleged that Tantawi recently told him, in confidence, of his deepening frustration with Gamal.....
Opining that "Gamal and his clique" are becoming more confident in the inevitability of Gamal's succession, and are now angling to remove potential "stumbling blocks," Sadat said that speculation among Cairo's elite is that there could be a cabinet reshuffle as soon as May or June, in which Minister of Defense Tantawi and/or EGIS head Omar Suleiman would be replaced. "Those two are increasingly viewed as a threat by Gamal and those around him," and thus Gamal is reportedly pushing Mubarak to get them out of the way ... 
3. (S) Sadat said Tantawi had commented to him in a recent private meeting that, "he has had it 'up to here' with Gamal and his cronies, and the tremendous corruption they are facilitating." "Tantawi told me he is having trouble sleeping at night," he continued, "and that he cannot stand what has happened to the country, and what may yet happen to the country." Disappointed by the recent constitutional amendments, and skeptical about the will of either Mubarak or Gamal to push forward meaningful political reforms, Sadat 
possible way out for Egypt ... we are in a terrible spot, and 
that is the best of all the bad options available." (Note: Sadat provided no further details about a possible coup scenario, and appeared to simply be theorizing about the future. To date, we have not heard other interlocutors speculate about a possible coup option. End note).....
said he viewed a post-Mubarak military coup as "the best 
7. (S) Comment: While Sadat is a useful interlocutor and a well-placed parliamentarian, we stress that he is the only Embassy contact to date who has raised with us the spectre of a post-Mubarak military coup. While discussion of presidential succession is a favorite parlor game in Cairo salons, hypothesizing about the acutely sensitive topic of a coup is certainly not regularly undertaken in Egyptian circles.
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