Wednesday, 25 August 2010
Spontaneous campaign backs Mubarak's son Gamal
Posters backing Gamal Mubarak have been spotted in a number of Egypt's poorer neighbourhoods. News of these posters began circulating shortly after several online campaigners set out to gather millions of signatures calling on Gamal to stand in the next presidential elections.
It is evident within Egypt that there is an ongoing campaign backing the president's son who is also the senior officer of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).Government officials, however, insist that neither the NDP nor Gamal himself have anything to do with the campaign which is said to be spontaneous and one that the government has no intention of silencing.
"These campaigns represent individual initiatives; they are in no way related to the NDP. None of the leadership of the NDP has endorsed them officially or unofficially. So it remains a sporadic voluntary activity in society," said Aley el-Din Hilal, a senior official of the party.
There seem to be some contradictions as far as these campaigns are concerned. Gamal Mubarak is regarded as a man of privilege; therefore it is unexpected to find the headquarters of the People's Coalition in support of Gamal Mubarak in one of the poorest and deprived areas of Cairo, or hear the organiser, Magdi el-Murdy, suggest that Gamal Mubarak, if elected president, will help move the power away from the elite.
It is not surprising that members of the opposition have a different perspective on these developments. Shadi Taha of the opposition al-Ghad party described the campaign as an attempt to show that the Egyptian public was "begging" Gamal Mubarak to stand. He also suggested that if Gamal Mubarak is elected, it would set Egypt back hundreds of years.
It remains unclear whether Gamal Mubarak is behind the supposedly spontaneous presidency campaign, and whether he will ever be openly endorsed by his father who remains reticent about naming a successor and has always maintained that he would serve Egypt to his last breath.
For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.