Rumors of the end of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s 28-year tenure as president have recently resurfaced in the Arabic media.
Saudi press reports Monday said that that during his recent trip to Jeddah, President Mubarak, 81, notified King Abdullah of his intention to step down soon as president following the upcoming parliamentary election. He also reportedly anticipates moving the presidential election forward to 2009 or 2010, instead of the scheduled 2011.
The Arab press additionally related Mubarak’s intended resignation as reactionary to his broken sprit following the recent death of his beloved grandson, Mohammad Alaa Hosni Mubarak, with whom he shared a special relationship. Analysts, however, have long pointed to Mubarak’s health as the principal factor behind his potential resignation.
Last week, reports spread in Egypt that Mubarak’s ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) planned to dissolve the Peoples’ Assembly (PA) to make way for new parliamentary elections. Egyptian opposition paper Al-Osboa, reported the PA’s dissolve as a presidential plan to facilitate the transition of power between President Hosni Mubarak and his youngest son Gamal, whom the opposition says has been groomed for the presidency.
A Gamal presidency, the opposition has maintained, would create a ‘hereditary scenario’ that undermines democracy. Whenever it occurs, a Mubarak transition from Hosni to Gamal may not be smooth.