After Talking to the U.S. Ambassador, Can Gamal Mubarak Remove Sisi?

a year ago




Recent moves of Gamal, the son of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, spurred the turbulent political scene in Egypt, already suffering from an economic crisis.

Gamal, to whom his father opened all doors to inherit power, was one of the direct reasons for the outbreak of the January 25, 2011 revolution.

Seeing Mubarak and his two sons Gamal and Alaa in prison was an indication of “the revolution’s victory.” Unfortunately, their release after the military coup on July 3, 2013, was the most prominent indicator of the collapse of this revolution and the domination of “the deep state.”


Secret Meeting

After his family’s release, Gamal did not appear much in the Egyptian public scene, even if he contented himself with minor social roles, such as attending consolation or a traditional occasion, without playing any political role.

However, the situation changed after the report of the Africa Intelligence website, close to the French intelligence, talked about Gamal Mubarak.

The report, dated February 22, 2023, stated that the country’s severe economic crisis fueled Gamal Mubarak’s ambition to compete with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi for the presidency.

The most dangerous thing revealed by the website is Gamal talks with Washington, a strong ally of Cairo, over the possibility of running in the presidential elections in 2024.

Mubarak’s son held a secret meeting in March 2022, in a palace belonging to the Mubarak family in Sharm el-Sheikh, with the U.S. ambassador at the time, Jonathan Cohen, and businessman Hisham Talaat Mustafa.

Africa Intelligence pointed out that the meeting also included Gamal’s intention to ensure the Egyptian army’s support, as he wanted to be reassured of the continuation of U.S. military aid to Egypt, which amounts to $1.17 billion annually, if he runs for the presidency.

The website reported that a month after the Sharm el-Sheikh meeting, the Court of Justice of the European Union lifted the sanctions imposed on the Mubarak family.

Thus, it ended the procedures for freezing their assets and the ban that was imposed on the entry of European Union citizens into financial transactions with those close to the late president.



Years before these events, Gamal’s rise to the political hierarchy in Egypt started while he held the position of Assistant Secretary-General and Secretary of the Policies Committee of the ruling National Party at the time. He was heralded by the media of the former president as an ambitious young man capable of holding the reins. Several Mubarak’s businessmen and statesmen were backing him, ready to support him to be the successor to his father, who reigned for three decades.

On February 11, 2011, when protesters were marching from Tahrir Square to the Al-Ittihadiya Palace (Heliopolis Palace) to overthrow Mubarak, the head of the intelligence service at the time, Major General Omar Suleiman, appeared, announcing that Mubarak had stepped down, and the dreams of the family, especially Gamal, were faded away.

On August 3, 2011, Gamal appeared for the first time handcuffed, to be tried on charges of influence peddling, profiteering, and corruption of presidential palaces.

This was considered one of the indications of the revolution’s victory. However, after the military coup, specifically on January 26, 2015, Gamal and Alaa Mubarak were released.

At the time, many people commented: “As if no revolution had taken place, and no regime had fallen.”

Now Gamal is moving under the impact of the news of his candidacy for the presidency and recycling himself politically to play a larger role.


Legal Status

After the news about Gamal’s competition with Sisi, a question was raised about his legal status regarding the possibility of running for the presidential elections.

Back in September 2018, Mubarak and his two sons submitted a request for reconciliation and to stop the implementation of the verdict issued against them (in the case of corruption in presidential palaces) with the aim of rehabilitating and then lifting its effects.

The Court of Cassation issued the verdict, rejecting the lawsuit for reconciliation and rehabilitation, making it final and not subject to appeal.

Under that ruling, Mubarak and his two sons, Gamal and Alaa, became subject to the provisions of Article 6 of Article 2 of the Law on the Exercise of Political Rights No. 45 of 2014.

The provision stipulates that anyone against whom a final judgment has been issued in a felony shall be deprived of exercising political rights for a period of 6 years, starting from the date of execution of the penalty, that is, after the termination of the prescribed prison term and payment of the fine.

This article had been amended by Decree Law No. 92 of 2015 to remove the deprivation from exercising political rights “if the execution of the penalty is suspended, or the person is rehabilitated.”

Consequently, Gamal Mubarak was restored to those rights, as the period of deprivation, which is twice the period sentenced to the convict, has expired.

The punishment was for 3 years, and therefore the period of deprivation was 6 years, which ended in 2021.

Gamal Mubarak has the absolute right to enter the political world. If he wants to establish a new party or join one of the existing parties to run for parliament, for example, he can do so.


Image Whitewashing

Gamal Mubarak had moved from reaction to action, whitewashing his reputation and recycling his family’s activity on May 18, 2022, when he spoke for the first time since his father was overthrown.

Gamal appeared, speaking in a video, about what he called the innocence of his family from all accusations of financial corruption.

He said that his family has endured false allegations, and extensive judicial investigations have not proven any illegal activity for ten years.

Then he sent a message to his father saying Hosni Mubarak was always confident, despite all the odds, that his family would win in the end, and it had already won.

Gamal’s statement, which he made in English and then in Arabic, came after the Swiss prosecution closed an investigation into the source of funds belonging to the family due to the lack of sufficient evidence of the money laundering charge against the Mubarak family and people affiliated with the regime.

It also released 400 million Swiss francs after the release of 200 million others, figures equivalent at the time to about 11 billion Egyptian pounds.

The other move that sparked controversy was on May 16, 2022, when Gamal Mubarak appeared, condoling Abu Dhabi Crown Prince at the time (and current president) Mohammed bin Zayed during the funeral of Khalifa bin Zayed.

This was the first time that Gamal had traveled outside the country, and had pictures, since the January 2011 revolution.

This reinforced the idea that Mubarak’s son sought to play a different role, far beyond what exists, especially since he always participates in social and humanitarian events.


Deep State

The controversy recently raised by Gamal Mubarak and the divergence of opinions about his frequent appearances prompted political analysts to comment.

Egyptian political researcher Muhammad Maher said in his interview with Al-Estiklal that: “Gamal Mubarak is not an imaginary force to rule the Egyptian state now, and he is not weak to be completely excluded from the political scene. We can see him as a strong card in the hands of a force greater than him.”

He added: “Gamal is one of the influential cards of the deep state in Egypt, the state of businessmen.

“Gamal, on the one hand, represents part of that state, and on the other hand, he puts pressure on Sisi, and he can also play a bigger role in the next stage if necessary.”

The Egyptian researcher ruled out that Gamal Mubarak would be the next president of Egypt for reasons related to the army.

“The army turned against Mubarak in January 2011 because it was against the idea of the succession project similar to Bashar al-Assad in Syria who succeeded his father, for example.”

Maher stressed that “it is difficult for Gamal to break that fence and be an acceptable ruler. In addition to that, Sisi himself, if he felt severe danger from Gamal’s movements, he would have acted as he did with Sami Anan, Hisham Geneina, Ahmed Shafiq, and others.”

But Sisi knows that Gamal does not represent a big threat, and he also avoided opening other fronts of war with Mubarak’s deep state, according to his estimation.

Anan ran for the presidency in 2014 and 2018, so his residence was restricted and he was imprisoned. As for Geneina, he exposed scandals related to the Sisi regime and supported Sami Anan’s candidacy, so he was assaulted and imprisoned.

Ahmed Shafiq was residing in the Emirates and wanted to run for the presidency in 2018, so he was forcibly returned to Egypt, and his residence was determined.