Egypt: Mubarak vs. Mubarak
A piece at The Los Angeles Times’ Babylon & Beyond explores the roots of the Popular Coalition for Supporting Gamal Mubarak, noting that speculation and debate have emerged regarding whether the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) is behind the coalition. The piece observes that NDP spokesman Ali Eddin Helal denied that the party endorses or finances the coalition, whereas Iglal Salem, the coalition’s assistant coordinator, claimed that NDP Policies Committee official Ibrahim Kamel gave $350,000 to the campaign, sparking rumors of ties between NDP businessmen and the coalition. One political analyst, Salama Ahmed Salama, argued that “the whole thing is meant to look like a grass-roots movement, but the NDP stamp is hard to miss.” However, Amr Chobaki, an analyst at the Al Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, suggested that “the sudden appearance of the posters could be a window into the battle taking place within the ruling party,” adding, “It’s a sign that the issue [of nominating Gamal Mubarak] has not been settled internally.” Analyst Deyaa Rashwan confirmed this interpretation, proposing that President Hosni Mubarak will ultimately be the one to decide the matter of his son’s potential candidacy.
Meanwhile, NDP Secretary-General and Speaker of the Shura Council Safwat al-Sherif announced in an interview that the party has unanimously agreed to nominate President Mubarak as its presidential candidate, stating that “the NDP has chosen Mubarak for the upcoming presidential election, however we cannot override the President’s own decision, because the decision is primarily his own.”