Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the former military leader who served as Egypt’s president following Hosni Mubarak’s fall from power, died on Sunday, Egypt’s state news agency reported. He was 85.
On Nov. 15, 2011, Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising that ended nearly two decades of the authoritarian rule of the former air force general. Tantawi became acting president and led the armed forces in the interim until an election that year. He held the post permanently after President Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military in July.
Tantawi, who was also a vice president, resigned from his role as military leader this month.
“On this blessed Friday, the blessed and blessed day of liberation, President Tantawi will be remembered with happiness, freedom and honour,” said Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, a liberal writer and political commentator, according to the state-owned Al-Ahram news agency.
On Saturday, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the army chief who has emerged as a leading candidate in Egypt’s upcoming presidential elections, praised Tantawi’s work and described him as a “strong, wise man” in a post on Facebook.