Monday, August 30, 2010

Saadeddin Ibrahim shocks supporters: signs petition for candidacy 'Jimmy' Mubarak

How sad, how strange! Saadeddin Ibrahim on Sunday signed a petition in support of the presidential candidacy of Gamal Mubarak, president Hosni Mubarak's 47 year old son.
Ibrahim is head of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies in Cairo, and a sociology professor of the American University in Cairo. But on top of that he is a well known critic of the government who has lots of supporters in dissident circles . In 2000 he was jailed after having been accused of of having spent European funds meant for the Ibn Khaldun Centre for political purposes, in reality most probably because he had been warning for the possibility that Mubarak would promote his son as his successor. A court of appeal cleared him in 2003. In 2008 he was convicted - in absentia  - of defaming Egypt. Since then he stayed in the USA, till on 5 August he returned unexpectedly for a family visit. Or had there been made a deal?? One would start to suspect that much after his signing this petition of the 'Popular Coalition in Support of a Gamal Mubarak Candidacy“. Being a candidate did not, as he said, amount to an  'inheritance of the presidency', because 'every Egyptian has the right to run for elections that are free, fair and under international and local supervision'
And this is the same Saadeddin Ibrahim who in a series of articles in 2000 warned about the emergence of 'republican dynasties' in Arab countries like in Syria the Assad family, the Kadhafys in Libya, the Husseins (at the time) in Iraq and the Mubaraks in Egypt. It's also the same Saad Eddin Ibrahim, who in June in an OpEd in the Washington Post accused the American president Obama of being "too friendly with tyrants". Obama, he wrote, seemed to think that strengthening ties with Mubarak would encourage Egypt 'to become more proactive in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but Mubarak had 'not advanced Israeli-Palestinian peace beyond what his predecessor, Anwar Sadat, accomplished in the 1970s.' Also, he argued, the green lights the Mubaraks regime received from Obama, had encouraged it to continue it's policy of  'wholesale imprisonment and harassment of political dissidents,' like for instance the crackdown on Egypt's 'brave young pro-democracy bloggers'. He called Obama's stance a great diappointment in light of his Cairo speech of one year earlier.
How could this have happened? It's almost unbelievable.

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