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EGYPT: President's son refuses to commit to presidential aspirations

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Gamal Mubarak, the son of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and head of the ruling National Democratic Party's policies committee, said his stance on running in next year's presidential elections remains the same as it was in 2005: He's noncommittal.

Answering a reporter on whether his party's winning of an absolute majority in the new parliament would encourage him to be the NDP candidate come 2011, the younger Mubarak said that he "gave an answer to this question five years ago and I've already replied to this question three, four times a year since then. My answer is still unchanged."

He was referring to a response he gave in 2005, when he said he had no interest in running for the presidency.

"The only time you will find out who will be the party's candidate is when the party convenes, sometime before the process starts next July, and makes its final official candidate," Mubarak added during a meeting taking place on the sidelines of the NDP's annual conference on Monday.

Egypt's parliamentary elections last month, marred by accusations of fraud and vote rigging from various opposition forces, saw the NDP win more than 90% of the People's Assembly's 508 contested seats.

Speculation that Mubarak, who celebrated his 47th birthday on Monday, is being groomed by the party to succeed his father have spread across Egypt's political scene since he was nominated by the president to head the policies committee of the NDP in 2002. A coalition formed earlier this year has initiated a campaign to urge him to compete in 2011.

Hosni Mubarak, in power since 1981, has yet to reveal whether he will run in the upcoming presidential elections.

Gallbladder removal surgery in Germany in March, followed by his absence from the media in the following weeks, has cast doubts about the 82-year-old's physical ability to remain as president for another term.

In another matter, Gamal Mubarak, when asked why the country's steady economic growth over the last few years has yet to benefit poor Egyptians, said things could be worse; he boasted that the country's financial performance has enabled its economy to survive the global recession.

"If it was not for the firm GDP growth, millions of Egyptian families would have had to weather the storm of the global turmoil on their own," he said. "Instead, people here didn't feel the global increase of some basic commodities because the government was able to subsidize them, and we were able to increase pensions by 25%."

Egypt posted an annual growth rate of more than 7% prior to the global recession. Growth has slowed to between 5.1% and 5.3% over the last two fiscal years.

However, statistics showing economic growth have had little impact on millions of struggling Egyptians, including a fifth of the population that still lives on less than $1 a day.

-- Amro Hassan in Cairo

Photo: Gamal Mubarak. Credit: Agence France-Presse

Comments () | Archives (3)

So why should the presidnet's sone necessarily have more presidential asperations than any other Egyption?

The last couple elections in Egypt have been massively flawed, arresting and imprisoning anyone who might be a threat is massively flawed, but still we shovel money at Egypt. It never improves anything except the bank accounts of those in charge. Ordinary Egyptions suffer on. This notion of promoting dynasties of rulers is so anti democratic it boggles the mind. Is North Korea and their heredity dictator system so attractive?

Let's see; Mubarak the father has been ruling Egypt for about thirty years by force, corruption and oppression. Most Egyptians live in misery under the poverty line. The U.S. continues to support Mubarak and labels Egypt as a moderate state. Egypt, Saudia Arabia, and other countries in the middle east earns the label moderate because they serve the U.S. interest on the expense of the interest of their own population .... and you ask why they hate us???

The man is an idiot that knows nothing about the life of ordinary Egyptians.. He is isolated in an imperial way from the masses.. The parliament boasts of this guy and sings his praises as if he were the real Gamal (Abdel Nasser).. He doesn't and will not even mention that the elections were fraudulent on many levels.. The opposition candidates were arrested, harassed and imprisoned right before the elections took place, they were prohibited from campaigning at any time right up to the elections and the ruling party candidates were allowed to use police stations and government offices to campaign. Why is no one mentioning the fact that Gamal has not lived in Egypt the majority of his adult life.. His brother is one of the wealthiest men in the Middle East, and is a Partner is every new business venture in the country, he even borrowed billions of dollars for his energy project in Upper Egypt only to have it scrapped after years of work on it, and the country lost those billions. Egypt has seen a 7% growth in its GDP..??? Tell that to the struggling 80,000,000 average Egyptians....Give me a break...


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