The debate has already started on what the electoral platform of presidential hopeful and former chief of the army Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi will offer and about who is really writing this platform: the nation’s top political commentator, Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, former presidential runner and veteran diplomat Amr Moussa, or El-Sisi’s son-in-law, current Chief of Staff Mahmoud Hegazi, or maybe all three of them.
One thing is clear: all have already contributed, on one way or another, to the "vision" El-Sisi is currently formulating. Also contributing to the process is Kamal El-Ganzouri , a prime minister both before and after the January 25 Revolution.
Moussa has been particularly close to El-Sisi, often described as "ultimate number two to El-Sisi."
“He is very hands-on; he is informed on all the details and his advice is certainly listened to attentively,” said one source in a team that is offering advice to El-Sisi on his "vision for the future."
A meeting that brought El-Sisi and Moussa — who has repeatedly supported the army chief's candidacy — together on 11 February accentuated speculation over Moussa’s possible placement in the second top job in the hierarchy of the Egyptian state according to the constitution approved in January: the premiership.
Late in March, the speculation was fueled further when Moussa used his Facebook page to provide general guidelines for the presidential platform of El-Sisi, essentially to hush spreading speculation about the army chief having cold feet about running for the presidency at all.
Moussa, a veteran diplomat who ran in the 2012 presidential elections, served as Egypt's foreign minister in the 1990s, as well as secretary-general of the Arab League for 10 years. El-Ganzouri, who had kept a lower profile in the works of El-Sisi’s programme compared to that of Moussa, has held the premiership twice already: once in the 1990s under then-president Hosni Mubarak, and again in 2011 during the transitional period following Mubarak's ouster.
Both men are in their 70s, which makes them older than El-Sisi, who turns 60 soon.
Younger and more liberal names from the business community and Egyptian bureaucracy have also been cited. Particularly prominent in this respect is Moustafa Hegazi, the strategic advisor to Interim President Adly Mansour, whose job, according to some highly informed sources, was secured in the first place upon the recommendation of no other than El-Sisi.
According to a source working closely with El-Sisi's preparations for the presidency, the soon to be head of executive and commander in chief of the army is expected to announce the vice and deputy positions, in addition to a team of aides and advisors, a roster that is likely to include current Interim President Adly Mansour, who may remain in government instead of returning to his former position as head of Egypt's High Constitutional Court.
Speaking to Ahram Online on condition of anonymity, the source said that El-Sisi knows "very well" that he won't be able to rely on just his popularity, dedication and resolve. To "deliver" in a country wracked with political turmoil and economic stagnation, he'll need to assemble an exceptional cabinet and team in order to achieve "success."
But surrounding himself with a "dream team" of advisors is far from the most challenging task for the man expected to win the upcoming presidential elections by a margin greater than 80 percent of half of the eligible voters who are likely to join the voting this spring, according to the assessment of state-run polling bodies.
As an informal advisor to El-Sisi put it, "Everybody knows well that the vast majority of people support him." But he's going to need all that support and more to tackle Egypt's problems.