The regime’s survival plan centres on Omar Suleiman, the head of intelligence, President Hosni Mubarak’s close confidant, and newly installed vice-president. At this point, Suleiman is the most powerful man in Egypt, backed by the military (from whence he hails), the security apparatus and a frightened ruling elite hoping to salvage something from the wreckage.
Suleiman is, in effect, heading a military junta at this point, with all the principal civilian power positions – the presidency, the vice-presidency, the premiership, the defence and interior ministries – held by former senior officers, and with the military itself in full support.
Mubarak is now reduced to the role of figurehead, sheltering behind this clique. But they will not sacrifice him if they can avoid it.