Journalists close to Gamal Mubarak to head national publications

Egypt's Shura Council, the upper chamber of parliament, has appointed a number of journalists close to the President Hosni Mubarak's son Gamal as chief editors of Egypt's key national newspapers.

Safwat al-Sherif, Shura Council speaker and head of the Supreme Council for Journalism, decided to appoint Yasser Rizq as chief editor of Al-Akhbar, the third most circulated newspaper in Egypt.

Mohamed Abdel Salam, an expert at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, was appointed as chief editor of Al-Siyasa Al-Dawliya–the most important periodical on foreign affairs in Egypt–to replace Osama al-Ghazali Harb.

Harb, who is the president of the Democratic Front Party, resigned from the ruling National Democratic Party in 2006. He has also criticized the NDP, saying it is not a genuine party, but rather a group of opportunists.

The Shura Council also named Mostafa Abdallah as chief editor of Akhbar al-Adab–a weekly Arabic literary newspaper– to succeed Gamal al-Ghitani, who retired.

Hisham Murad has stepped into the shoes of Mohamed Salmawi as editor-in-chief of the biweekly French-language newspaper Ahram Hebdo.

The Shura Council also decided to keep on Abdel Monem Saeed for another year as chairperson of state-run Al-Ahram, Adel Abdel Samad as chief editor of Al-Hilal, Abdallah Hassan as chairperson of MENA, and Mohamed Ali Ibrahim as chief editor of the state-run Al-Gomhorriya.

Observers say that national newspapers have recruited over the past two years an increasing number of proponents of Gamal Mubarak’s ideas for economic reform. The recruitments are viewed as an indicator that the scene is being set for a transition of power to the president’s son.


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