• MB Blogs
  • September 2, 2007
  • 2 minutes read

Egypt’s Mubarak is in good health, first lady says

Egypt’s Mubarak is in good health, first lady says

Egypt”s President Hosni Mubarak is in good health, his wife Suzanne Mubarak said, seeking to end speculation in the Egyptian media the 79-year-old ruler may be seriously ill.

“The president”s activities have not stopped … his health is excellent,” Suzanne Mubarak told Arab satellite channel Al-Arabiya in remarks broadcast overnight.

She said people spreading rumours about his health should be held to account. She did not elaborate.

Mubarak, Egypt”s longest-serving ruler since Mohamed Ali Pasha in the 19th century, is serving a fifth six-year term as president. Many Egyptians suspect the president”s 44-year old son, Gamal Mubarak, will succeed him.

The Mubarak family has denied any succession plans.

For the past week, Egyptian opposition and independent newspapers have raised the possibility of the president falling ill after he missed some regularly scheduled meetings, including one with university students.

Mubarak”s live appearance on state television examining a project in Burg el-Arab on the north coast last week failed to end speculation.

Mubarak also postponed a trip to inspect projects in the southern province of Sohag, scheduled for Sunday.

The president cancelled the trip on Saturday because the projects there were not ready, an official source told Reuters.

Government sources accused the opposition Muslim Brotherhood of spreading rumours that Mubarak was ill, independent daily Al Masry Al Youm reported on Sunday.

The Muslim Brotherhood won a fifth of the seats in parliament in 2005. The government has launched a fresh crackdown on the Islamist group to prevent it from posing a serious challenge to Mubarak.