The sudden appearance of Gamal Mubarak retrieves the Egyptian discussion about Sisi’s alternative

Suddenly, Gamal Mubarak (58 years old), son of the late President Hosni Mubarak, released a video clip last Tuesday evening, announcing the end of all procedures to prosecute him and his family members outside the country and that no jurisdiction in any EU Member State or any other foreign jurisdiction has detected any legal infringement by them.

Gamal Mubarak’s lengthy statement (more than 20 minutes) came less than 24 hours after he was in the United Arab Emirates to offer condolences for its former president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, in his first official announced exit outside Egypt since the January 25, 2011 revolution, which overthrew his father, the dictator Mubarak. The ruling eliminated the project to bequeath the presidency of Egypt and the subsequent judicial procedures and travel bans. The appearance of Mubarak, the rare son, who has not made any video statements since 2011, prompted many Egyptians to believe that it was a prelude to a more significant step that might be presenting his name as an alternative to the person of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, in light of the sharp criticism directed against him and his regime due to the economic and political crisis in the country.

What did Gamal Mubarak say exactly?

Over the course of about 21 minutes, mainly in English, Gamal Mubarak confirmed that the European, British and Swiss courts had acquitted him and his family of the charges of corruption, money smuggling and graft that they had been accused of following the January 25, 2011 revolution, threatening legal prosecution of “those who spread false rumours.” about his family” for the past ten years. Gamal sent a message to his father, who died in February 2020, saying that he “fulfilled his promise to him to continue the effort to clear the family name,” stressing that his father was pure in hand and did not have property or money outside Egypt and that he refused to escape outside Egypt after the revolution despite offers made to him.

These are false allegations on the part of Gamal. He says that neither he nor his family members nor his close circle is innocent. Still, all of them are convicted by court rulings inside Egypt on charges related to corruption and embezzlement of public money. It does not mean the failure of successive regimes after the January 25 revolution – especially the Sisi regime, which has been in power for eight years – to pay attention to the file of smuggled funds outside the country and to provide evidence and proof that the funds of the Mubarak family and the elite of his regime in European banks and tax havens are embezzled funds resulting from theft and abuse of influence. This does not mean that they are innocent or pure in hand. Instead, it means there is collusion at the highest levels to close their case so that they will not be like those who beg themselves to steal these people’s money.

Gamal, who talks about “there are false allegations of corruption” against him and his family, ignores that he, his father Mubarak and his brother Alaa have been sentenced to three years in prison by the Court of Cassation, the highest judicial court in Egypt, on charges of stealing 126 million Egyptian pounds (21 million dollars at a price of the dollar at the time) from the allocations of the Presidency of the Republic and forgery in official papers to conceal the crime.

Mubarak and his sons squandered that money in spending on finishing villas, apartments, and family-owned resorts in Heliopolis, Sharm el-Sheikh and Ismailia Road, in addition to Gamal Mubarak’s office at the dissolved National Party headquarters, an office for Suzanne Mubarak at City Stars Mall, and a family cemetery. “Jamal” also ignores that he, his father and his brother Alaa were convicted of the crimes of using influence and taking a bribe from businessman Hussein Salem, which consisted of five villas and their annexes in South Sinai Governorate, with the ruling that the criminal case in the case expired because more than ten years had passed since they took the bribe.

As for Mrs Suzanne Mubarak, Gamal’s mother, who claims to have a clean hand, she was forced to cede to the state her real estate properties and the money in her bank accounts, which at the time was estimated at 24 million pounds ($4 million at the dollar price at the time), in return for accusing her of illegally increasing her wealth and releasing her from prison. It did not submit any documents proving the source or legality of these funds and real estate. And many, many other cases of corruption were recorded judicially against Mubarak, his family, and the men of his regime. Still, we suffice with what we mentioned to confirm that the Mubarak family was not angels, as their representative, Gamal Mubarak, claims.

A good alternative

Gamal Mubarak’s statement came less than a day after his presence in the Emirates to mourn the former President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, as he appeared to shake Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed’s hands, the new president of the Emirates, which led some to believe that the statement came with the blessing of the Emirates, which may wish to put Mubarak junior as a proper alternative of Sisi.

Some also linked Gamal’s appearance in a video clip for the first time 11 years ago and the difficult economic conditions that the country is experiencing due to the wrong policies of the Sisi regime, considering that Gamal presents himself as a reliable alternative, and this begins by clearing his name and his family’s name. But we can confidently say that all of these are illusions and aspirations, as neither Gamal Mubarak presents himself as an alternative to Sisi, nor does the UAE support him as an alternative to Sisi. The most significant evidence for this is that Mubarak’s son’s statement came in English, meaning that it was not directed at the Egyptian interior in the first place but rather directed at European countries. He and his family likely intend to move to live and invest in Europe, so this statement is a prelude to that.

On the other hand, is it reasonable that the army, which supported the January 25, 2011 revolution, would end the project of Gamal Mubarak’s succession to power in sequence to his father, would agree that Gamal would return after only 11 years to take over? Why? Is it reasonable for the army leaders to accept the coup against Sisi, which strengthened their influence and expanded their economy, favouring Gamal Mubarak, whose project was based on removing power from the army and granting it to business people? And where did the belief that the UAE wanted an alternative to Sisi to come from? The UAE handed Lieutenant-General Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak’s last Prime Minister and former presidential candidate, to Sisi “on a mobile phone,” as the Egyptians say, just for his daring to announce his candidacy for the 2018 presidential elections while he was on the territory of the Emirates. Will it now supports Mubarak, the son, to be a replacement for Sisi? ? What will this alternative give her more than Sisi gives her? Political and economic influence?. It already possesses political power and has expanded economically in Egypt unprecedentedly.

Nevertheless, people’s talk and thinking about Gamal Mubarak as an alternative leads us to think about the fragility of the Sisi regime, that fragility that leads people to search and feel for any choice even if it is a “thief by the court” like Gamal, or a comedian involved in corruption like the artist And businessman Muhammad Ali, who appeared in videos revealing incidents of corruption among army leaders, was a partner in some of them. Some put his name as an alternative to Sisi as well. This is a fragile and unstable system, and when a natural choice emerges, people will march in droves.