President Hosni Mubarak's son said in an interview published Tuesday that he has no intention of running in the next Egyptian presidential election in 2011. A run by the 42-year-old Gamal Mubarak, believed by many to have been groomed by his father to succeed him, faces stiff opposition among many Egyptians and their political leaders.
State media have praised the younger Mubarak, a former investment banker, as a savvy, technology-minded economist. By calling attention to him, the press accolades prompted rumors he would succeed his 77-year-old father, who has been in power since 1981 and was elected to a new six-year term in September.
"In order to be nominated (to run for the presidency), you have to have the support of your party and elected local councils, but before that you have to have the desire and intention of nomination," Gamal Mubarak told the pro government daily Rose El-Youssef. "I don't have the intention or the desire to be a candidate. I repeat and emphasize again I don't have this intention or desire, this is clear talk for those who want to understand," he added.
Since 2004, there have been several vocal protests, lead by the Kifaya (Enough) opposition movement, against the possibility of Gamal inheriting presidency. In September 2000, the president appointed Gamal Mubarak to the secretariat of the ruling National Democratic Party, and he began to appear increasingly on television and at major local and international events. Appointed head of the NDP's powerful policy-making committee in 2002, Gamal quickly made known his agenda: economic and political reforms.
The interviewer asked Gamal Mubarak if he had been put in charge of the policy committee because he was the president's son. "Without doubt, often life gives each individual certain opportunities. My life circumstances gave me those chances," the younger Mubarak answered candidly. He added, however, that "the real test of a man is his ability to seize those opportunities" and use them to build a successful career in a chosen field, reports the AP. N.U.