Hosni Mubarak: Difference between revisions

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*Re-elected for a fifth term of office (2005)
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*Chairman of the [[Group of 15|G-15]] (1998 & 2002)
 
*Chairman of the [[Group of 15|G-15]] (1998 & 2002)
*Re-elected for a fourth term of office (1999)
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*Re-elected himself for a fourth term of office (1999)
 
*Chairman of the Arab Summit since June (1996)
 
*Chairman of the Arab Summit since June (1996)
 
*Chairman of the OAU (1993-1994)
 
*Chairman of the OAU (1993-1994)
*Re-elected for a third term of office (1993)
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*Re-elected himself for a third term of office (1993)
 
*Chairman of the [[Organisation of African Unity|OAU]] (1989-1990)
 
*Chairman of the [[Organisation of African Unity|OAU]] (1989-1990)
*Re-elected for a second term of office (1987)
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*Re-elected himself for a second term of office (1987)
 
*President of the National Democratic Party (1982)
 
*President of the National Democratic Party (1982)
 
*President of the Republic (1981)
 
*President of the Republic (1981)

Revision as of 18:05, 2 September 2009

Muhammad Hosni Mubarak
محمد حسني مبارك
Hosni Mubarak - World Economic Forum on the Middle East 2008 edit1.jpg
President of Egypt
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 Taleb (Acting)
Prime Minister of Egypt
In office
7 October 1981 – 2 January 1982
President Sufi Abu Taleb (Acting)
Preceded by Anwar El Sadat
Succeeded by Ahmad Fuad Mohieddin
Secretary General of Non-Aligned Movement
Assumed office
16 July 2009
Preceded by Raúl Castro
Personal details
Born (1928-05-04) 4 May 1928 (age 89)
Kafr-El Meselha, Monufia, Egypt
Political party National Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Suzanne Sabet
Children Alaa Mubarak
Gamal Mubarak

Muhammad Hosni Mubarak, (Arabic: محمد حسني مبارك‎; commonly known as Hosni Mubarak; Arabic: حسني مبارك‎; (transliterated: Husnī Mubārak), (born 4 May 1928), is the 4th and current President of the Arab Republic of Egypt. He was appointed Vice President in 1975, and assumed the presidency on 14 October 1981, following the assassination of President Anwar el-Sadat. He is the longest-serving ruler of Egypt since Muhammad Ali Pasha

Early life and the Egyptian Air Force

Mubarak was born on 4 May 1928 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. On 2 February 1949, Mubarak left the Military Academy and joined the Air Force Academy, gaining his commission as a pilot officer on 13 March 1950[1] and eventually earning a Bachelor's Degree in Aviation Sciences.

As an Egyptian Air Force officer, Mubarak served in various formations and units, including two years when he was on the "Speed Fire" fighter squadrons. Some time in the 1950s, he returned to the Air Force Academy, this time as an instructor, remaining there until early 1959. From February 1959 to June 1961, Mubarak attended the Soviet pilot training school in Moscow where he was trained on the LU-28 and Tupolev Tu-16 jet bomber. On his return to Egypt, Mubarak served in wing and then a base commander appointments, taking up command of the West Cairo Air Base in October 1966 before briefly commanding the Beni Suef Air Base.[1]

In November 1967 Mubarak became the Air Force Academy's commander and two years later he became Chief of Staff for the Egyptian Air Force. His military career reached its zenith in 1972 when he became Commander of the Air Force and Egyptian Deputy Minister of Defence and the following year he was promoted to air chief marshal in recognition of service during the October or Yom Kippur War.[1]

President of Egypt

Following the assassination of President Sadat by militants in 1981, Hosni Mubarak became the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Chairman of the National Democratic Party (NDP). He is also the longest serving President of the Egyptian Republic (27 years in 2008).

Hosni Mubarak is married to Suzanne Mubarak, and has two sons: Alaa and Gamal whom Hosni Mubarak is alleged to be preparing to be his successor.

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.[2]

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.[3]

Assassination attempts

According to the BBC, Mubarak has survived six assassination attempts. In June 1995 there was an alleged assassination attempt involving Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya (The Islamic Group) 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 Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya which by 1999 saw 20,000 persons placed in detention related to the revolutionary Islamic organizations.[2][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]. President Mubarak does not support an immediate U.S. pull out from Iraq as he believes it will lead to probable chaos.

Changing economic scene

In July 2004 Mubarak accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Atef Ebeid and most of the 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.

Democratization 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 26 February 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 28 July 2005, Mubarak announced his candidacy, as he had been widely expected to do. The election which was scheduled for 7 September 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 8 September 2005, Dr. Ayman Nour, a dissident and candidate for the Al-Ghad party, contested the election results, and demanded a repeat of the election.

In a move widely seen as political persecution, Nour was convicted of forgery and sentenced to five years at hard labor on 24 December, 2005.[6] 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."[7]

According to Reporters Without Borders; Egyptian media ranks 133 out of 168 in freedom of the press,[8] 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.

While in office, political corruption in the Mubarak administration's Ministry of Interior has risen dramatically, due to the increased power over the institutional system that is necessary to secure the prolonged presidency. Such corruption has led to the frequent imprisonment of political figures and young activists without trials, illegal undocumented hidden detention facilities, and rejecting university, mosques, newspapers staff members based on political inclination. On a personnel level, each individual officer can and will violate citizens' privacy in his area, using unconditioned arrests, common torture and abuse of power, depending on simply brute force, rather than law, to enforce order in the officer's designated area. This has resulted in the common belief that "A policeman is more dangerous than a criminal".

The rise to power of powerful business men in the NDP in the federal government and People's Assembly led to massive waves of anger during the years of Ahmed Nazif's government. As a result, frequent laws and bills are passed, with undergiant monopolists (such as Ahmed Ezz's)influence serving personal and corporational financial interests rather than public's. Transparency International (TI) is an international organisation addressing corruption, including, but not limited to, political corruption. In 2008, TI's Corruption Perceptions Index report assessed Egypt with a CPI score of 2.8, 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 115th out of the 180 countries included in the report.

Mubarak and the Coptic Orthodox Church

Before Mubarak assumed 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 2 January 1985. He returned to Cairo to celebrate the 7 January 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. However, in 2009, began some efforts to appease the Coptic community in preparation of his visit to the US [1].

Twenty-eight 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 forgo 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

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).

Mubarak and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Mubarak has very strong views on the issue of Israel and the Palestinians. He is generally supportive of Palestinian groups such as Fatah. As he has been involved intensely in the Arab League, he has supported Arab efforts to achieve a lasting peace in the region. The current position of the league is that which was endorsed at the Beirut Summit, on March 28, 2002. At the summit the league adopted the Arab Peace Initiative,[9] a Saudi-inspired peace plan for the Arab–Israeli conflict. The initiative offered full normalization of the relations with Israel. In exchange, Israel was demanded to withdraw from all occupied territories, including the Golan Heights, to recognize an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as its capital, as well as a "just solution" for the Palestinian refugees. The Peace Initiative was again endorsed at 2007 in the Riyadh Summit. In July 2007, the Arab League sent a mission, consisting of the Jordanian and Egyptian foreign ministers, to Israel to promote the initiative. The mission was welcomed with reservations by Israel.[citation needed]

On June 19, 2008, Egypt brokered “lull” or pause in hostilities between Israel and Hamas went into effect.[10] The term “lull” is a translation of the Arabic term Tahdia.[11] According to The New York Times, neither side fully respected the terms of the cease-fire.[12]

The agreement required Hamas to end rocket attacks on Israel and to enforce the lull throughout Gaza. In exchange, Hamas expected the blockade to end, commerce in Gaza to resume, and truck shipments to be restored to 2005 levels, which was between 500 and 600 trucks per day.[12][13] Israel tied easing of the blockade to a reduction in rocket fire and gradually re-opened supply lines and permitted around 90 daily truck shipments to enter Gaza, up from around 70 per day.[14] Hamas criticized Israel for its continued blockade[15] while Israel accused Hamas of continued weapons smuggling via tunnels to Egypt and pointed to continued rocket attacks.[12]

When conflict again ensued however Egypt's foreign minister, while condemning the Israeli offensive, stated that Hamas had brought it upon itself.

In 2009, Mubarak's government banned the Cairo Anti-war Conference, which has criticised his lack of action against Israel.[16]

Meeting with Vietnamese president

President of Vietnam Nguyen Minh Triet on July 16 2009 met with Mubarak on the sidelines of the 15th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Egypt. In the meeting with Mabarak, Mr. Triet congratulated Egypt on its successful hosting of the summit. Mubarak praised Vietnam's role in the NAM movement as well as on the United Nations Security Council.[17]

Political and military posts

Popular culture

  • Hosni Mubarak acted in a small shot in a movie named "Wadaa fel fagr", produced 1956[18]
  • Hosni Mubarak was awarded Jawaharlal Nehru Award (जवाहर लाल नेहरू पुरस्कार) for International Understanding by President Pratibha Patil in New Delhi on November 19, 2008. Mubarak was honoured for his "unique role in providing stability and progress to his country, in upholding the Arab cause, in promoting peace and understanding in the region."
  • Hosni Mubarak is currently ranked 20th on Parade Magazine's 2009 World's Worst Dictator list.[19]
  • Mubarak was featured heavily in Episodes 82 and 83 of satirical podcast The Bugle. After news emerged that a man was jailed for writing a poem that insulted Mubarak, host Andy Zaltzman challenged the show's listeners to write a verse or haiku that was more insulting than the original. Many of the entries read out in Episode 83 poked fun at Mubarak's alleged favouring of his son, and one contribution read 'The pyramids in Egypt/Are pointless, methinks/Your mum's so fat/She went to a fancy dress party as a sphinx'. Zaltzman later said he didn't have the courage to go to Egypt after insulting its leader.[20]

References

  1. ^ a b c "Air Marshal Mohammed Honsi Mubarak". Egyptian Armed Forces Web Site. Egyptian Armed Forces. Retrieved 2009-05-30. 
  2. ^ a b "BBC NEWS - Middle East - Country profiles - Country profile: Egypt". Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  3. ^ "Economist.com - The IMF's model pupil". Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  4. ^ Wright, Looming Towers, 2006, p.213-215
  5. ^ CNN.com - Mubarak warns of '100 bin Ladens' - March 31, 2003
  6. ^ Slackman, Michael (2005-12-25). "Testing Egypt, Mubarak Rival Is Sent to Jail". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-06. 
  7. ^ "Statement on Conviction of Egyptian Politician Ayman Nour". U.S. National Archives. 2005-12-24. Retrieved 2009-06-06. 
  8. ^ "Reporters sans frontières - Annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index - 2006". Retrieved 2007-06-19. 
  9. ^ "The Arab Peace Initiative, 2002". al-bab.com. 2005-10-01. Retrieved 2008-07-09.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)
  10. ^ Isabel Kershner (2008-06-25). "Rockets hit Israel, breaking Hamas truce". International Herald Tribune. 
  11. ^ Hamas offering Israel truce, not peace. USA Today. Published 3/12/2008.
  12. ^ a b c BRONNER, ETHAN (2008-12-19). "Gaza Truce May Be Revived by Necessity". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 
  13. ^ UN Press Conference on Gaza humanitarian situation
  14. ^ BBC Truce barely eases Gaza embargo. By Aleem Maqbool. BBC News. Published August 19, 2008.
  15. ^ Guardian Gaza truce broken as Israeli raid kills six Hamas gunmen Rory McCarthy 5 November 2008
  16. ^ "Mubarak blocks resistance Cairo conference". Socialist Worker. 2009-05-12. Retrieved 2009-05-15. 
  17. ^ VN President meets Egyptian leader in Egypt
  18. ^ YouTube - مبارك مع كمال الشناوي وشادية في فيلم
  19. ^ Parade Magazine. " The Worlds 10 Worst Dictators", 22 March 2009
  20. ^ The Bugle - Audio Newspaper for A Visual World - Episodes 82/83 - www.timesonline.co.uk/thebugle

9. Mubarak: "U.S withdrawal would hurt Iraq" [2]

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Anwar El Sadat
Prime Minister of Egypt
1981–1982
Succeeded by
Ahmad Fuad Mohieddin
Preceded by
Sufi Abu Taleb
Acting
President of Egypt
1981–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Moussa Traoré
Chairman of the Organisation of African Unity
1989–1990
Succeeded by
Yoweri Museveni
Preceded by
Abdou Diouf
Chairman of the Organisation of African Unity
1993 – 1994
Succeeded by
Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
Preceded by
Raúl Castro
Secretary General of Non-Aligned Movement
2009–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Anwar El Sadat
Chairman of the National Democratic Party
1982–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Military offices
Preceded by
Ali Mustafa Baghdady
Commander of the Egyptian Air Force
1972–1975
Succeeded by
Mahmoud Shaker

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