Minister: Mubarak to unveil Nile-Red Sea highway in April

Investment Minister Mahmoud Mohi Eddin has announced that the Nile Valley-Red Sea highway in Upper Egypt currently stands at the verge of completion. He went on to say that President Hosni Mubarak would inaugurate the project early next month during the latter’s first domestic tour since his recovery from a surgical operation he recently underwent in Germany.

The Egyptian stock exchange’s EGX 30 index rose by 1.2 percent on Sunday following Mubarak’s safe return from Europe the day before. The index gained 81.4 points, while the overall price index rose by 2 percent in a session that saw total dealings worth LE856.5 million.

The New York Times wrote that the president’s safe return had served to put an end to rumors about the seriousness of his medical condition, but did not resolve brewing controversy over the issue of presidential succession. On Sunday, the newspaper noted that power in Egypt had been concentrated in the hands of Mubarak for almost three decades, pointing out that he had not yet decided whether or not he would run for a sixth presidential term in upcoming elections slated for next year.

The paper went on to report that Egypt’s political opposition, which stands against a Mubarak candidacy in coming elections, was demanding certain constitutional reforms. The New York Times linked these reform demands with the emergence of Mohamed ElBaradei–former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency–as a would-be presidential candidate, noting that ElBaradei enjoyed the support of academics and young activists.

But it went on to note that ElBaradei was unable to run as an independent in elections–due to constitutional restrictions–and must therefore join a political party in order to be nominated.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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