Egypt's Future is in Question
By Micah Halpern
Sunday July 25, 2010
I've Been Thinking:
On Thursday, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak appeared on TV in a taped presentation.
There have been rumors that Egypt's president is dying of cancer and one US paper even reported that he has less than a year to live. In March he had gallbladder surgery in Germany and was out of Egypt for three weeks, running affairs of state from his hospital room.
Mubarak looked thinner than usual, but he sounded fine and still looked good. The thinness does not bother me. It was always well camouflage under his exquisitely tailored suits, but Mubarak has been about sixty pounds overweight for a long while.
This TV appearance was a tool to support and bolster confidence in Mubarak's power and position. The message is I am alive and well. I am in charge and in control of Egypt. You are in good hands.
There is no doubt that one of the most important issues Mubarak is considering is succession. Mubarak's internal struggle right now is whether to open and liberalize Egypt permitting a more democratic election or to personally choose and place his successor in position. The next question then is who that person would be. Who is best suited to succeed him? If he does not hand pick a successor and chooses to liberalize, Mubarak has to figure out what to do with the Islamists.
If Egypt permits the Islamists to run, they may just win the Egyptian election just like Hamas won the Palestinian election. Mubarak does not want that to happen. Neither do we.