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Tuesday, 17 September, 2002, 22:41 GMT 23:41 UK
Mubarak's son takes key party post
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
The President denies he is grooming his son to succeed him

The Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, has appointed his son, Gamal, to a leading position in the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).

Gamal Mubarak
Mubarak Jr is taking on the old guard
Gamal Mubarak has been made the party's political secretary, with responsibility for developing its thinking on a range of issues.

The president has repeatedly denied that he is grooming his son to succeed him.

But Gamal Mubarak's ascent in the party is fuelling speculation.

Gamal's rise

The younger Mubarak is now the third man in the secretariat of NDP.

His appointment to the post of political secretary came on the final day of a rare party congress.

Held under the slogan "New thinking", the congress was billed as an opportunity for the NDP to modernise itself and promote young members.

Gamal Mubarak was highly visible at the meeting as a champion of reforms aimed at breathing life in what is seen in Egypt as a moribund party.

Expectations of far-reaching change, possibly at the hands of Gamal Mubarak, had been raised in the run-up to the conference.

Discarding old guard

Recent weeks have witnessed a series of corruption scandals and the arrests of close associates of the three long-serving ministers who had been running the NDP.

Many saw the arrests are an attempt to sweep away the old guard to make way for Gamal Mubarak.

In the event, however, the Egyptian leader lived up to his reputation for caution.

He kept two of the ministers and promoted the third to a party post with limited powers.

See also:

15 Sep 02 | Middle East
23 Jul 02 | Media reports
16 Jul 02 | Islamic world
26 Oct 00 | Middle East
16 May 02 | Country profiles
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