Monday, September 12, 2005

Gamal Mubarak for President

If anyone ever had any doubts that one of underlying aims of the constitutional amendment this year was to enable young Gamal Mubarak to succeed his father through elections, Al Masry Al Youm's interview with businessman Ibrahim Kamil should put them to rest. Kamil is a businessman and member of the ruling party's policies secretariat, which is chaired by Gamal. Here are the relevant sections:
Question: Has the inheritance question gone away completely or is it still there to some extent?
Kamil: What do you mean, inheritance? Do we have a system called inheritance? If I want to put my son in my place, I wouldn't be able to do that. But if my son works in political activity and is able to stand in presidential elections in the light of the new amendments and the constitutional amendments which will take place in the future, that would not be inheritance.
Question: But would he come when his father is still president or after he leaves power and then it's his right to stand, as in Syria?
Kamil: It's wrong to compare the presidential elections which took place (in Egypt) with what happened in Syria. We, under the present system, if President Mubarak decided not to stand in the current elections and I came, as a member of the general secretariat (of the ruling National Democratic Party), and nominated Gamal Mubarak for the presidency, would that mean I am nominating him because he is the son of the president? That would be wrong, because it would be because he's a young man in his early 40s who has obtained a superior political training which 20 million other young men in Egypt have not obtained. He's well-educated and very well brought up, but the difference is that he's the son of the president.
Question: But he obtained that education and political training because he is the son of the president?
Kamil: Yes, that's true, so we say that the recent period during which the son of the president embarked on party work inside the National Party gave him a background inside the party and in the framework of the policies committee and through the supreme policies council. Let the dialogue remain open inside the National Party and let the young members of the party learn from it.
Question: Do you expect Gamal Mubarak to rise higher in the coming period to become secretary-general of the National Party?
Kamil: I hope that Gamal Mubarak is promoted within the party.
Question: You hope or you expect?
Kamil: I hope because it's not my decision. President Mubarak said that the question of inheritance is not for discussion now.
It's not much of a surprise, but it's certainly bold of Kamil to air such ideas so soon after the elections. By the way, remember that if Mubarak died or retired any time in the next two months, the ruling party would choose ALL the candidates in the presidential elections to replace him. That's because no opposition candidate would qualify unless at least 65 members of parliament endorsed him, and the opposition in parliament, even if united around one candidate, could not muster 65 members. Unless one of the opposition parties wins at least 23 seats in parliament in November, plus other seats in other subsequent elections later, this extraordinary state of affairs could continue until the next parliamentary elections in 2010.

Kamil just about sums up the self-perpetuating nature of government in Egypt for the past 50 years:
Question: What is the legitimacy of the current system based on?
Kamil: It's based on the existing constitution, and on the basis that the current system, whether we disagree or agree, supports the current government.
Of course, he makes light of electoral abuses, saying they are of the kind that happen in every country in the world. No interest in investigating specific violations or holding anyone to account, God forbid!


Blogger ritzy said...

Excellent blogging!

did the article say anything about Gamal's looks and bambi eyes?


5:10 PM  
Blogger Tomanbay said...

Let me put this on record: During a talk show at Ewart hall, AUC in May 2003, a friend of mine mustered his courage and asked the guest, Gamal Mubarak, whether he intended to run for presidnecy, and if he did, would it be in the 'Syrian' way?...and his exact words were(he spoke in Arabic, but here is an approximate translation): "As for the guy who asked me whether I intend to run for presidency, don't think that you're so smart, or something, I have been asked this question hundreds of times, so don't think you're in anyways special, but here is my answer: No, I don't intend to run at all, all I want to do is to focus at doing a good job in my current position". What suprised me, despite his rather aggresive and intimidating tone, was the absloute clarity and crispiness with wich he declared his position. If he did run for the elections, then the NDP didn't just borrow a page from Bill Clinton's or Tony Blair's books, but it seems they might be avid followers of the great Goebbels himself.

1:02 AM  
Blogger Sphinx said...

In some versions, Gamal ruled out standing in 2005 but left the future open. And then, there's always the 'overwhelming public demand' ploy he might pull

10:39 AM  
Blogger Tomanbay said...

what versions? I was sitting right there...and he said that he didn't intend to run at all... Now I know that this probably means nothing, but as I said, I am just trying to put that on record.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Sphinx said...

I mean on other occasions when he's been asked the question, not specifically at the AUC event

11:53 AM  

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