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Wikileaks: Egypt's Mubarak Likely to Remain in Office for Life

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

A cable released on the Wikileaks website and reported on by Britain's Guardian newspaper quotes a U.S. envoy as saying Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak may remain in office for life.

The Guardian says the information is in a May 2009 secret cable that U.S. ambassador to Cairo Margaret Scobey sent to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The newspaper quotes Scobey as saying Mr. Mubarak will probably seek re-election next year and would "inevitably" win. She said the 82-year-old leader is "most likely to die in office," rather than voluntarily step down.

According to the Guardian, Ambassador Scobey also described the Egyptian leader, who has been president since 1981, as a political survivor who maintained his long grip on power by avoiding risks.

The newspaper also quotes Scobey as saying Mr. Mubarak's son, Gamal, as the person most likely to succeed him.

The Guardian released the information Thursday, a day after leading Egyptian opposition figure Mohammed ElBaradei called for a boycott of the 2011 presidential elections.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate called Egypt's election process a "farce" in a video message on his Facebook website.

Earlier this month, Mr. Mubarak's National Democratic Party swept to victory in parliamentary elections, after the country's two main opposition groups boycotted a second round of voting to protest alleged fraud.

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