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May 5, 2008

Wikipedia: Hosni Mubarak

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Muhammad Hosni Sayed Mubarak
محمد حسنى سيد مبارك
Hosni Mubarak

President of Egypt
Incumbent
Assumed office
14 October 1981
Prime Minister Ahmad Fuad Mohieddin
Kamal Hassan Ali
Ali Mahmoud Lutfi
Atef Muhammad Naguib Sedki
Kamal Ganzouri
Atef Ebeid
Ahmed Nazif
Preceded by Sufi Abu Talib

Born 4 May 1928 (1928-05-04) (age 80)
Kafr-El Meselha, Monufia, Egypt
Political party NDP
Spouse Suzanne Mubarak
Children Alaa Mubarak
Gamal Mubarak
Religion Sunni Islam

Muhammad Hosni Mubarak, (Arabic: محمد حسنى سيد مبارك‎; transliterated: Muḥammad Ḥusnī Mubārak; commonly known as Hosni Mubarak; Arabic: حسنى مبارك‎; transliterated: Ḥusnī Mubārak), (born May 4, 1928) has been the president of Egypt since October 14, 1981.

Mubarak was appointed vice-president of the Republic of Egypt after moving up the ranks of the Egyptian Air Force. He ascended to the presidency, succeeding President Anwar Al Sadat, following Sadat’s assassination on October 6, 1981.

Contents

Early life

Mubarak was born in Kafr-El-Meselha, Al Monufiyah Governorate, Egypt. Upon completion of high school, he joined the Egyptian Military Academy, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Military Sciences in 1949. In 1950, he joined the Air Force Academy, eventually earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Sciences, and was assigned to the bombers squadrons. Part of his pilot’s training he received at the Soviet pilot training school in Frunze (current Bishkek), in Soviet Kyrgyzstan. He then moved up the chain of command, holding the positions of pilot, instructor, squadron leader and base commander. In 1964, he was appointed head of the Egyptian Military Delegation to the USSR.

In the years between 1967 and 1972, during the War of Attrition between Egypt and Israel, Mubarak was appointed Director of the Air Force Academy and Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Air Force. In 1972, he became Commander of the Air Force and deputy minister of war. In October 1973, following the Yom Kippur War, Mubarak was promoted to the rank of Air Chief Marshal. In April 1975, he was appointed Vice-President of Egypt and, in 1978, he was selected as Vice-Chairman of the National Democratic Party (NDP).

President of Egypt

Following the assassination of President Sadat by militants in 1981, Mubarak became the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Chairman of the National Democratic Party (NDP). He is also the third longest reigning ruler of Egypt (26 years in 2007) after Ramesses II (66 years) and Muhammed Ali (43 years).

Hosni Mubarak is married to Suzanne Mubarak, and has two sons: Alaa and Gamal.

Egypt’s return to the Arab League

Egypt was the only country in the history of the Arab League to be suspended from its membership, due to President Sadat’s peace treaty with Israel, but it re-gained admission to the league – eight years after Sadat’s assassination on October 6, 1981 – in 1989, under Mubarak. Its headquarters was relocated to its original setting in Cairo.[1]

Wars and the monetary gain from the First Persian Gulf War

Egypt was a member of the allied coalition in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and Egyptian foot soldiers were some of the first to land in Saudi Arabia to evict Iraqi forces from Kuwait.

Reports that sums as large as $500,000 per soldier were paid or debt forgiven were published in the news media. The Economist cites: The programme worked like a charm: a textbook case, says the IMF. In fact, luck was on Hosni Mubarak’s side; when America was hunting for a military alliance to force Iraq out of Kuwait, Egypt’s president joined without hesitation. After the Persian Gulf war, his reward was that USA, the Gulf states and Europe forgave Egypt around $20 billion-worth of debt.[2]

Because Egyptians were some of the first to move into Kuwait during the liberation, Egypt is said to have suffered more casualties than reported.

Assassination attempts

According to the BBC, Mubarak has survived six assassination attempts. In June 1995 there was an alleged assassination attempt involving Al-Islamiyya and Egyptian Islamic Jihad while he was in Ethiopia for a conference of the Organization of African Unity. Upon return Mubarak is said to have authorized raids on The Islamic Group which by 1999 saw 20,000 persons placed in detention related to the revolutionary Islamic organizations.[3][4]

Mubarak’s stance on the second Iraq War

President Mubarak spoke out against the 2003 war on Iraq, arguing that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be resolved first. He also claimed that the war would cause “100 Bin Ladens”. [5]

Changing economic scene

In July 2004 Mubarak accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Atef Ebeid and the entire cabinet. He then appointed Ahmed Nazif as the new Prime Minister. The new cabinet was generally viewed with optimism. Economic conditions are starting to improve considerably after a period of stagnation. The new cabinet headed by Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif was somewhat successful in overcoming the grim economic situation. The Egyptian stock market came in first place out of all emerging markets in terms of percentage increase for the fiscal year 2004/2005. However, Unemployment still persists and Mubarak has come under criticism for favoring big business and privatization as opposed to workers’ rights. All this was a consequence of the wide use of privatization policy, by selling shares in most public sector companies, but it is widely believed that this reserve of previously nationalized capitals will end soon, leaving Nazif’s government broke.

Democratisation in 2005 elections

President Mubarak has been re-elected by majority votes in a referendum for successive terms on four occasions: in 1987, 1993, 1999. The results of the referendums are of questionable validity. No one runs against the President due to a restriction in the Egyptian constitution in which the People’s Assembly plays the main role in electing the President of the Republic. However, in February 2005 Mubarak passed a constitutional amendment allowing parties directly running against the incumbent president. As expected, he was re-elected.

After increased domestic and international pressure for democratic reform in Egypt, Mubarak asked the largely rubber stamp parliament on February 26, 2005 to amend the constitution to allow multi-candidate presidential elections by September 2005. Previously, Mubarak secured his position by having himself nominated by parliament, then confirmed without opposition in a referendum.

The September 2005 ballot was therefore a multiple candidate election rather than a referendum, but the electoral institutions, and security apparatus remain under the control of the President. The official state media, including the three government newspapers and state television also express views identical to the official line taken by Mubarak. In recent years however, there has been a steady growth in independent news outlets, especially independent newspapers which occasionally criticize the President and his family severely. Satellite channels beaming from Egypt such as the Orbit Satellite Television and Radio Network for example, also exhibit relative openness as exhibited in their flagship program Al Qahira Al Yawm. In the last few years however, the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif has been somewhat successful in turning things around. According to the List of countries by Human Development Index Egypt ranks 111th out of 177 countries, and rates 0.702 on the index.

On July 28, 2005, Mubarak announced his candidacy, as he had been widely expected to do. The election which was scheduled for September 7, 2005 involved mass rigging activities, according to civil organizations that observed the elections. Reports have shown that Mubarak’s party used government vehicles to take public employees to vote for him. Votes were bought for Mubarak in poor suburbs and rural areas. It was also reported that thousands of illegal votes were allowed for Mubarak from citizens who were not registered to vote. On September 8, 2005, Dr. Ayman Nour, a dissident and candidate for the Al-Ghad party, contested the election results, and demanded a repeat of the election.

On the day of Nour’s guilty verdict and sentencing, the White House Press Secretary released the following statement denouncing the government’s action:

“The United States is deeply troubled by the conviction today of Egyptian politician Ayman Nour by an Egyptian court. The conviction of Dr. Nour, the runner-up in Egypt’s 2005 presidential elections, calls into question Egypt’s commitment to democracy, freedom and the rule of law. We are also disturbed by reports that Mr. Nour’s health has seriously declined due to the hunger strike on which he has embarked in protest of the conditions of his trial and detention. The United States calls upon the Egyptian government to act under the laws of Egypt in the spirit of its professed desire for increased political openness and dialogue within Egyptian society, and out of humanitarian concern, to release Mr. Nour from detention.”

According to Reporters Without Borders; Egyptian media ranks 133 out of 168 in freedom of the press,[6] showing an improvement of 10 places from 2005.

Mubarak and corruption

A dramatic drop in support for Mubarak occurred with the news that his son Alaa was favoured in government tenders and privatization. With both of his sons directly and indirectly owning shares in a large number of companies and minor projects, Mubarak’s corruption is leading a series of corruption cases among his cabinet of minor governmental employees.

Corruption at the Ministry of Interior and Police is also very obvious, on a wide scale of the infinite powers of police departments as in the later events of executing criminals without trials, hidden prison cells from the DA, etc… and also on an individual level, as each individual officer can violate any simple citizen’s privacy, making unconditioned arrests, resulting in the sight of a police captain being as a danger instead of safety. Transparency International (TI) is an international organisation addressing corruption, including, but not limited to, political corruption. In 2005, TI’s Corruption Perceptions Index report assessed Egypt with a CPI score of 3.4, based on perceptions of the degree of corruption from business people and country analysts, with 10 being highly clean and 0 being highly corrupt. Egypt ranked 70th out of the 159 countries included in the report.[7]

Mubarak and the Coptic Orthodox Church

Prior to Mubarak assuming the presidency, former Egyptian President Sadat ordered Pope Shenouda III of Alexandria, the Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria into exile at the Monastery of Saint Pishoy. In addition, eight bishops, twenty-four priests, and many other prominent Copts were placed under arrest. Sadat replaced the church hierarchy with a committee of five bishops and referred to Pope Shenouda as the “ex-pope.” More than three years after assuming power following Sadat’s 1981 assassination, Mubarak released Pope Shenouda from exile on January 2, 1985. He returned to Cairo to celebrate the January 7 Christmas Liturgy (Old Calendar) to a crowd of more than ten thousand. Christians have enjoyed relatively greater rights under Mubarak with their January 7 holiday, Christmas in the orthodox (Old Calendar), being declared a national holiday in 2002. However, many Copts continue to claim that Mubarak has done little to safeguard their interests.

Twenty-five years of Emergency Law rule

Recently he has come under criticism for extending Egypt’s Emergency Law (the country has been under a state of emergency since ex-president Sadat’s assassination in 1981). Under that “state of emergency”, the government has the right to imprison individuals for any period of time, and for virtually no reason, thus keeping them in prisons without trials for any period. One justification presented by the government and certain members of the international community to keep that state of emergency going is to fight terrorism. Opposition groups like the Muslim Brotherhood could come into power in Egypt if the current government did not forge parliamentary elections, confiscate the group’s main financiers’ possessions, and/or detain group figureheads; virtually impossible without emergency law and judicial-system independence prevention. However, critics would argue that this goes against the principles of democracy, which include a citizen’s right to a fair trial and their right to vote for whichever candidate and/or party they deem fit to run their country.

Presidential succession


See also Gamal Mubarak#Inheritance of Power

As Alaa left the picture around the year 2000, Mubarak’s second son Gamal started rising in the National Democratic Party and succeeded in getting a newer generation of neo-liberals into the party, and eventually the government. Due to Gamal’s increasing visibility and influence, rumours about him being groomed for the presidency became common. Nevertheless, this has been denied by both the president and his son several times. Many believe that his succession would mean a hereditary pseudo-monarchy (see also family dictatorship).

Political and military posts

Hosni Mubarak with US President George W. Bush

Hosni Mubarak with US President George W. Bush

  • Re-elected for a fifth term of office (2005)
  • Chairman of the G-15 (1998 & 2002)
  • Re-elected for a fourth term of office (1999)
  • Chairman of the Arab Summit since June (1996)
  • Chairman of the OAU (1993-1994)
  • Re-elected for a third term of office (1993)
  • Chairman of the OAU (1989-1990)
  • Re-elected for a second term of office (1987)
  • President of the National Democratic Party (1982)
  • President of the Republic (1981)
  • Vice-President of the National Democratic Party (NDP) (1979)
  • Vice-President of the Arab Republic of Egypt (1975)
  • Promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General (1974)
  • Commander of the Air Force and Deputy Minister of Defense (1972)
  • Chief of Staff of the Air Force (1969)
  • Director of the Air Force Academy (1968)
  • Commander of Cairo West Air Base (1964)
  • Joined Frunze Military Academy, USSR (1964)
  • Lecturer in Air Force Academy (1952-1959)

Trivia

Hosny Mubarak acted in a small shot in a movie named “Wadaa fel fagr”, produced 1956.You can see the small shot here, next to him standing Kamal El Shenawy the main character of the movie: [1]

This text comes from Wikipedia. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikipedia.

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