The Ascendancy of Gamal Mubarak
By RANNIE AMIRI
"....Egypt indeed has become the epitome of a police state. Mubarak has never ruled a day without the powers bequeathed to him by Emergency Law. Instituted immediately after Anwar Sadat’s assassination, these wide-sweeping measures allow his State Security forces to arrest any person without warrant; indefinitely detain any citizen without charge; try civilians in military court; censor the media; restrict political organizations’ freedom of assembly; and tightly curb what the media is permitted to broadcast or publish – all powers of which Mubarak has taken full advantage. Egypt’s largest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, is officially banned and its members routinely arrested, jailed and tortured under its mandates.
Questions about Mubarak’s potential successor – a subject normally off-limits to public or media speculation – came to a head this week when the NDP held its annual party conference (in direct violation of Egypt’s constitution, Mubarak has never appointed a vice president). Would he announce his intention to seek re-election in 2011 or would his 46-year-old son Gamal, widely believed to be his political heir apparent, declare his own candidacy?.....
But in Egypt, where the political infrastructure is so intertwined with the state security apparatus, there will never be open and fair elections, despite the senior Mubarak’s proclamation they would be “clean and free.” The only realistic possibilities outside himself are Suleiman, or most likely, Gamal.
Just as with King Abdullah of Jordan, Bashar Assad of Syria, and the current grooming of Libya’s Saif Ghaddafi, it will be a dictator’s son who assumes power; a “candidacy” endorsed by Washington, and one in which the Egyptian people, regrettably, will have very little say."