Egypt's 82-year-old President Hosni Mubarak, is expected to seek re-election next year and serve for the rest of his life, according to American diplomatic cables leaked on Thursday. The document published by the WikiLeaks and posted online by British daily The Guardian also claimed Egypt's 2011 presidential election "will not be free or fair."
"The next presidential elections are scheduled for 2011, and if Mubarak is still alive it is likely he will run again, and, inevitably, win," said the cable from the US embassy in Cairo dated May 2009 and signed by ambassador Margaret Scobey.
"Despite incessant whispered discussions, no one in Egypt has any certainty about who will eventually succeed Mubarak nor under what circumstances," it said.
The cable named Mubarak's son Gamal, 47, as a "likely contender" along with intelligence boss Omar Suleiman and Arab League chief, Amr Mussa, a former long-term foreign minister. "Mubarak's ideal of a strong but fair leader would seem to discount Gamal Mubarak to some degree, given Gamal's lack of military experience, and may explain Mubarak's hands off approach to the succession question," said the cable.
"Indeed, he seems to be trusting to God and the ubiquitous military and civilian security services to ensure an orderly transition."