Gamal Mubarak potential candidate for presidency

A senior parliamentary member of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), Hossam Badrawi, said Gamal Mubarak is a potential candidate for the presidency.

“Gamal Mubarak is a very respectable figure who gained significant political experience over the past ten years. Of course Gamal Mubarak is a potential candidate for the presidential elections,” the leading figure from the NDP said in a television interview.

The supreme board of the NDP has 44 politicians other than Gamal Mubarak who could be potential candidates for the presidency, Badrawi explained.

Dropping a bombshell during the interview, Badrawi said, “I was among those inside the party calling for an amendment to article 77 of the constitution to limit presidential terms. I am still calling for this amendment. I do not think there can be constitutional amendments twice in a single presidential term; however, I believe these matters could be raised in the upcoming period.”

When asked about the initiative put forward by illustrious journalist Mohamed Hassanein Heikal to form a “board of trustees” to draft a new constitution for the country, Badrawi said, “What is the point of his constitution? The idea represents his viewpoint and … that is his right. Yet, I believe this idea is for a society without institutions. Egypt, however, is a state with deep-rooted institutions, and since the days of Mohamed Ali, the power transfer process has been taking place.”

He also expressed doubt that names with international repute like Ahmed Zewail or Mohamed el-Baradei could fill the presidential post. “Scientists like Professor Ahmed Zewail and Mohamed el-Baradei are great figures. But with all due respect, what are their political views? Even if I received the Nobel Prize, this does not mean I am fit to become president of the republic,” he said.

In regard to topics of discussion at the NDP general congress that opened yesterday, Badrawi suggested the congress would discuss such important issues as educational decentralization in the governorates of Fayoum, Ismailia and Luxor, as well as the application of the new health insurance system in Suez. He admitted that educational reform has not met expectations, but noted that the idea of a quality assurance system should not be ignored, even though its application did not take place as quickly as desired.

The continued development of the secondary education system is a political objective, said Badrawi, who noted that LE2.5 billion has been set aside for program implementation. If the government fails to implement this program, it will be remiss and no new system will be put in place, he stressed.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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