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Monday, July 19, 2010

Who will succeed Mubarak

Eli Lake shares the latest speculation about who is likely to succeed Hosni Mubarak as President of Egypt.
While Mr. Mubarak has declined to endorse a successor, the new law on presidential succession provides a major advantage to Mr. Mubarak's son, Gamal Mubarak, 47. The younger Mr. Mubarak is head of the powerful policy committee of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), the party that has led Egypt's government for more than 50 years.

Other potential military rivals to Gamal Mubarak, whose nickname is "Jimmy" in U.S. policymaking circles and among the Egyptian elite such as Mr. Suleiman, are not formal members of the NDP.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who is campaigning to end the emergency law and open the Egyptian political system to more competition, would also not qualify to run for president if Mr. Mubarak dies in the next year.

"There is a very serious and precise process for presidential elections and presidential succession if the sitting president becomes incapacitated," said a senior Egyptian government official. "That process is competitive, and the notion that it is somehow predetermined is completely false."

Despite the new rules, Egypt has faced political ferment in recent months to open up the political process through the emergence of Mr. ElBaradei, who provides Egypt's opposition with a figure who has international recognition. Mr. ElBaradei won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

"Mubarak has been president of Egypt for 30 years, and this will be an historic event when it occurs," a senior State Department official said of Mr. Mubarak's anticipated demise. "You have Gamal Mubarak as a prospective replacement, but you also have ElBaradei as someone who is prepared to compete for the presidency under specific circumstances."

The official said the Egyptian government will face a historic decision after Mr. Mubarak dies, and ultimately it will have to account for the wishes of the Egyptian people for more openness after years of authoritarian rule.

"In some ways, the presidential campaign has already started," the official said. "This is different than the dynamic you see in other countries. There is some open space in Egyptian society, but there is not yet enough to enable a genuinely competitive election among candidates, where more than one have a true opportunity to win."
Read the whole thing.


At 11:02 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Egypt will have a dynastic succession just like in Syria and which is also expected to happen in Libya. The irony is Arab republican regimes are no less monarchical than the Arab monarchies of the Gulf.


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