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Islamist sees Mubarak's son seeking presidency - Daily News Egypt

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Islamist sees Mubarak's son seeking presidency

CAIRO: A top leader of Egypt s largest opposition group said on Sunday he expected President Hosni Mubarak s son, Gamal, to seek the presidency within two years, citing as evidence the postponement of local elections. Muslim Brotherhood deputy leader Mohamed Habib also told Reuters in an interview that he expected a crackdown on freedoms …


CAIRO: A top leader of Egypt s largest opposition group said on Sunday he expected President Hosni Mubarak s son, Gamal, to seek the presidency within two years, citing as evidence the postponement of local elections. Muslim Brotherhood deputy leader Mohamed Habib also told Reuters in an interview that he expected a crackdown on freedoms in the most populous Arab country this year, partly in response to the victory of Islamist group Hamas in Palestinian elections. Gamal, 42, recently said he did not want to be president. But his rise in the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) and the absence of other obvious candidates for the country s top job have fuelled speculation that he could be a candidate. Mubarak, ruler since 1981, has not named a vice president, the position from which he and his predecessor took office. By extending the life of existing councils for two years, the postponement of local elections makes it harder for the opposition to challenge the ruling party s choice as president. I see the main goal of delaying the elections by two years as laying the foundations for the inheritance of power and opening the door wide open for Gamal Mubarak to be the candidate for the presidency, Habib said. Under laws passed last year, the NDP is currently the only party which can meet the requirements for nominating a candidate for president, at least until the local elections take place. A Brotherhood candidate, running as an independent because the group is not recognized, would need to be backed by 140 elected members of local councils, 65 members of the lower house of parliament and 25 members of the upper house. The Brotherhood won 88 lower house seats in parliamentary elections last year. Upper house elections are due in 2007. The Islamists say the presidency is not on their agenda. The ruling party wants to preserve the make-up of the local councils, likewise to preserve the make-up of the Shura Council (upper house), Habib said. Why? So that neither the opposition or the Brotherhood can one day cross the prohibitive conditions, he said, in reference to the terms on candidacy. There is a view that during these two years it is possible to put Gamal Mubarak forward as a candidate. There was a step taken with his appointment as an assistant secretary-general in the NDP, Habib said. I imagine this, he said. We reject inheritance of power in principle. If he wants to be nominated, at least the opportunity should be given to others, Habib said. The Brotherhood s opposition to a Gamal nomination would only be through constitutional channels, he added. Opposition groups last year held unprecedented street protests against Mubarak and the idea of any power transfer to Gamal after authorities gave them some space to demonstrate. But the postponement of the local elections, the jailing of a journalist for libel and the lifting of the immunity of three judges for questioning were signs the authorities were curbing freedoms, Habib said. The judges had spoken publicly about abuses in last year s parliamentary elections. It s as if they want to say to all factions, civil society and political forces: There s nothing new under the sun and you must forget , Habib said. The authorities have also referred a prominent Brotherhood member to trial in an emergency state security court for possessing weapons and inciting violence. The Brotherhood has dismissed the charges. The Brotherhood, founded in 1928, says it wants peaceful and gradual steps toward its vision of a more Islamic state and society. Hamas was founded on the ideology of the Brotherhood. It swept Palestinian elections in January. This gave us hope … But irritated and concerned the rulers and this concern will have consequences in practice: curbs, prosecutions, Habib said. Reuters

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https://dailyfeed.dailynewsegypt.com/2006/03/01/islamist-sees-mubaraks-son-seeking-presidency/
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