News / Africa

Egypt's Ruling Party Announces President Mubarak Will Run Again

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (file)
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (file)

The Egyptian public, the press, and the country's opposition appear to be taking the news that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will run for sixth term as president next year with little surprise, despite rumors about his health.    

News that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will be running for a sixth term as president made headlines in the Egyptian press Friday, but appears not to have caught either the public or the opposition by surprise.

The head of Mr. Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party, Ali el Din Hilal, told Al Hurra TV Thursday that the president would be the party's candidate next year, "God willing." He also indicated that the official nod would not go out until "a month or two" before the 2011 poll.

Several Egyptians contacted by VOA expressed little emotion over the announcement. "My big concern," says 30-year-old Bakr, "is to put food on the table, not who is running the country."

Hoda, a middle-aged secretary who wears a headscarf, points out that Egyptian leaders historically remain in office until they die. "Our pharaohs, our kings and our presidents," she notes, "have usually ruled the country until their last breath."

Hosni Mubarak, who has been in office since 1981, took over after the assassination of his predecessor Anwar Sadat. Prior to that, veteran President Gamal Abdal Nasser died in office in 1970, after toppling the monarchy in 1952.

Egyptian publisher and human rights activist Hisham Kassem says that the announcement of Mr. Mubarak's candidacy does not surprise him and that it is in line with the president's own past statements:

"I'm not in the least surprised," said Hisham Kassem. "I had no doubt that Mubarak was running, again. I think he will continue in office as long as he is 'compos mentis,' as long as his mental faculties are sound, regardless of the physical, and he has said in the past that he will serve this country to the last heart-beat. So, all this talk about his son being groomed [to succeed him] is total nonsense."

President Mubarak underwent surgery to remove his gallbladder in Germany in March. Rumors that he remains ill have persisted, despite affirmations to the contrary by his entourage. Speculation that his son Gamal will succeed him continues to keep many guessing.

Abdul Rahman Youssef, who is the campaign coordinator for opposition leader and former International Atomic Energy Agency head Mohammed ElBaradei, stressed that his team views Hosni Mubarak as the man to beat:

He argues that Mr. Mubarak's candidacy did not surprise him and that he knew that the president's son Gamal's chances of running in his stead were non-existent, calling such talk a political stunt. Gamal, he claims, has no backing from the street and no support from centers of power in the country.

Youssef goes on to affirm that ElBaradei's campaign is focusing on a seven-point plan for change, announced last month. "We will continue to rally the people," he says, "around the principle that they have the right to choose who will lead them, and to hold their rulers accountable."

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More