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Hosni Mubarak

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Hosni Mubarak, who is in fact currently ranked 20th on the World's Worst Dictators list, was born on the 4th May 1928 in Egypt. After completing high school he joined the Egyptian Military and slowly worked himself up the ranks. Mubarak spent most of his life in the military until when in 1972, he was appointed as the Egyptian Deputy Minister of Defence due to his wide experience in the military. He was also credited in some publications for Egypt's initial strong performance in the 1973 war against Israel. 1975 however, was the year that the then president of Egypt, Anwar Sadat appointed Mubarak as the Vice-President of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Following the assassination of President Anwar Sadat in October 1981, Mubarak became the president of Egypt and also the Chairman of the National Democratic Party (NDP) of which Mubarak was a high ranked member. He would become the longest serving President of Egypt, surviving no less than six assassination attempts.

If we look closely at Mubarak's reign as president we find many controversial issues coming to the fore. The most controversial maybe, was the Emergency Law that Mubarak implemented. Egyptians had been living under an Emergency Law since 1967, except for an 18-month break in 1980. The emergency law was imposed during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, and reimposed following the assassination of President Anwar Sadat. The law has been continuously extended every three years since 1981. Under the law, police powers are extended, constitutional rights suspended and censorship is legalized. The law sharply circumscribes any non-governmental political activity such as street demonstrations, non-approved political organizations, and unregistered financial donations are formally banned. Some 17,000 people are detained under the law, and estimates of political prisoners run as high as 30,000.

Many would see Mubarak's reign as President as one of self enrichment. Mubarak and his family have often been accused of corruption and accepting bribes and kickbacks. This comes after it was discovered that the Mubarak family fortune was worth $70 Billion. The money was said to have been spread out in various accounts at home and abroad. However, if this fortune were to be redistributed amoung the people of Egypt, then each person would receive $1000.

While in office, political corruption in the Mubarak administration rose dramatically. This he claimed were opposition party officials trying to sabotage his government by framing members of the NDP. Mubarak also came under fire in 2004 for the high unemployment rate and also for favoring big business and privatization as opposed to workers' rights.

Many saw Mubarak as the "puppet" of the West in the Middle East and Africa, doing all the dirty work the West preferred to stay out of. Mubarak was generally supportive of Israel and its cause and often allowed them to misuse Egyptian recourses for Israeli



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