Article and photo: Courtesy TIME
"Hosni Mubarak has ruled Egypt for 28 of his 81 years, but he's not likely to run for re-election in 2011. And growing public debate over the identity of his successor is fueled in no small part by the fact that Egyptians are not fond of a President who is widely believed to be grooming his 45-year-old son, Gamal Mubarak, to take the reins. (Neither man acknowledges such a plan.) But while such a familial handoff would hardly be atypical in the Middle East, it's far from a done deal in Egypt.
The younger Mubarak was given a starring role in this month's annual conference of the ruling National Democratic Party, in what many see as an effort to position him to run in 2011 — and that would make his accession to the presidency largely a formality, since Egypt's regime does not tolerate a genuinely competitive democracy, and controls the political process to prevent it challenging the status quo. The most popular opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, remains banned, although its members running as independents have garnered a substantial minority of parliamentary seats."
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