No news on possible Mubarak run until 2011: party


Egypt’s ruling party will not announce until next summer whether 82-year-old President Hosni Mubarak, whose health is in question following recent surgery, will stand for a sixth six-year term in 2011 polls.

Safwat el-Sherif, secretary general of Egypt’s ruling party, said in comments published in state media on Thursday that Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP) will not make an announcement before June 2011.

An exact date for the election has yet to be set, but it is expected to take place around September next year.
“Sherif indicated that the announcement of a candidate from the (ruling) national party for the 2011 presidential vote will not be before June or July 2011,” state news website reported.

Mubarak took power in 1981 but has not said whether he will run again. If he does not run, his son Gamal, a top NDP official or another establishment candidate may stand in his place.

Sherif told Al Arabiya satellite television this month all NDP leaders hoped Mubarak would be nominated for another term, echoing comments last week from Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif.

Rights groups complain the Egyptian government has rigged previous elections in its favour and used a long-standing emergency law to cow a weak, divided opposition.

Pic: President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt