Mubarak nominates al-Sharif chief council

Egyptian President Husni Mubarak has asked Information Minister Safwat al-Sharif to nominate himself as the chief of the council of state, Aljazeera TV has reported.

    On Sunday Mubarak delegated powers to his PM

    Informed sources told Aljazeera on Tuesday that in line with  Mubarak's request, the minister of information will submit his resignation on Thursday from the post he had held for the past 22 years.

    Mubarak is currently in Munich, Germany being treated for a slipped disc.

    Faruq Husni, Egypt's Minister of Culture will be temporarily assigned as the information minister and the current government will submit its resignation to the president after his return, Aljazeera correspondent Husain Abd al-Ghani reported.

    On Sunday Mubarak temporarily delegated powers to his prime minister.

    Shroud of secrecy

    Concerns about Mubarak's health arose after he postponed meetings this month with Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom and then with Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Quraya.

    Safwat al-Sharif will resign from
    his post on Thursday

    But he appeared in public last Wednesday, standing and talking to reporters about Egypt's plans to help the Palestinians if and when Israel withdraws from Gaza.

    A shroud of secrecy about the trip to Germany began to lift on Sunday. It was initially unclear where the slipped disc surgery was to be performed and there was also no official announcement on a deputy to run Egypt in his absence until after he arrived.

    Health concerns

    During previous trips abroad, it was normal practice for Mubarak to delegate some of his powers temporarily to a senior official, usually the prime minister, officials said.

    Mubarak has never appointed anyone as a long-term vice president - the route to the presidency in the last two transfers of power in Egypt, in 1970 and 1981.

    If he were to die, the speaker of parliament would take over as interim head of state while power brokers decide on a successor to be endorsed by popular referendum.  

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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