Four years after revolt, Mubarak-era figures return

Four years after the revolution, however, it appears that Egyptians are witnessing the re-emergence of some of the most prominent Mubarak-era figures. (Al Arabiya)

Following the uprising that toppled Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak in 2011, many expected figures affiliated to the deposed president to be pushed away from the country's political limelight.

Four years after the revolution, however, it appears that Egyptians are witnessing the comeback of some of the most prominent Mubarak-era figures.

The following i the five famous figures that are back in the spotlight.

 Ibrahim Mehleb

From international summits to press conferences, he is constantly under the spotlights in the post-Mubarak era.

Ibrahim Mehleb, who is the current Egyptian prime minister, was a senior official in Mubarak’s now-defunct National Democratic Party (NDP).

Mehleb was one of the figures Mubarak personally appointed in 2010 to the Shura Council or the upper house of parliament.

Explaining his appointment in President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s government, some analysts say that his “honesty” at work in the past allowed him to shift easily back onto the scene.

“We can’t say that all those who worked under Mubarak were corrupt,” Emile Amine, a political analyst and journalist told Al Arabiya News, “it would be unfair.”

“Mehleb is one of the examples that show some of Mubarak-era figures could work with honesty.

“It does not matter under which regime he was working for as long as his tasks were done properly,” he added.

Mehleb, a civil engineer, was the former CEO of Arab Contractors, one of the region's largest construction firms.

Under Mehleb's leadership, the Egyptian company has carried out major projects.

However, some opponents of the government had criticized Mehleb's appointment given his connection to the Mubarak era, and to business elites.

Under his leadership as housing minister in February 2014, more than 1000 families were forcibly evicted from their Cairo homes, and their houses demolished, Amnesty International reported.

 Abdel Fatah al-Sisi

Just like Mehleb, Sisi is another figure who worked during Mubarak’s rule before making an appearance on the political scene in the post-Mubarak era.

“The number of Egyptians who voted for him is the biggest proof of his achievements during the regimes of both Mubarak and [former President Mohammad] Mursi,” Amine added.

Sisi was Mubarak’s hand-picked military intelligence chief.

He emerged from the shadows of the military in 2012, after his appointment as defense minister by the person he would eventually oust from office, Islamist President Mursi.

After deposing Mursi, Sisi began a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups.

In March 2014, Sisi resigned from the military to focus on his presidential campaign. He won 96.1% of the votes in the election held a few months later.

Many Egyptian activists see the 59-year-old’s regime as very similar of Mubarak’s era.

“The country is more militarized now than under Mubarak [and] the scale of violence, repression, corruption and direct military control is unprecedented,” Alaa Abdel Fattah, an Egyptian blogger and political activist, told Reuters. “We are already in a much worse position than during Mubarak's time.”

Sisi has repeatedly said that ensuring stability in politically tumultuous Egypt is a top priority rather than promoting democratic freedoms, according to Agence France-Presse.

Gamal and Alaa Mubarak

Four years following the revolution which saw their father stepping down from his post of president, Gamal and Alaa are back in the spotlight after a court ordered their release this week.

Speaking about the court decision, Nasser Abdel Hamid, an Egyptian journalist and political activist, told Al Arabiya News: “Acquitting figures [who worked under Mubarak’s regime] does not mean that the revolution was wasted.”

“Alaa and Gamal were jailed for financial reasons and most of the times in these cases compromises can be reached,” he said.

Abdel Hamid also said that none of the two brothers is likely to make a comeback on the political scene.

Since the 2011 revolution, Alaa and Gamal, saw all charges against them dropped by Egyptian courts.

In June 2013, a court ordered their release in a case they faced charges of stock market manipulation, according to Mubarak's lawyer Farid el-Deeb.

In November 2014, corruption charges against the duo were also dropped.

Ahmed Ezz

Ahmed Ezz, who is commonly known as Egypt’s steel tycoon and most importantly the secretary-general of Mubarak’s NDP, has recently hinted at a possible return to the political scene.

State-media reported that Ezz is planning to compete in the coming elections with other former NDP members.

Speaking about the steel tycoon's decision, Amine said: “He is one of the figures who used to work for Mubarak and is not welcomed by Egyptians anymore.”

“If he participates in the next parliamentary elections, he will most likely face a lot of criticism and negative reactions from the population,” he added.

Ezz, who was jailed within days after the popular uprising that ousted Mubarak in 2011, was released after paying 100 million Egyptian pounds (about $ 14 million) as bail.

He was initially charged with embezzling more than six billion Egyptian pounds and over the illegal sale of steel licenses. He is awaiting retrials on corruption-related cases.

Habib el-Adly

Often described as one of the most powerful men in Egypt, it seems that four years after the revolution that led to his imprisonment, Habib el-Adly is slowly making his comeback.

In December 2014, Adly, who ran Mubarak’s security services for more than a decade, has been acquitted over protester deaths in 2011.

In June 2014, the former interior minister, had already been acquitted of money laundering and profiteering in a retrial after he had been sentenced to 12 years.

The acquittal verdicts have led some to conclude that the Mubarak’s old regime that existed before either revolution is back in all but name, according to Reuters.

The disgraced ex-minister, who played a leading role in the final years of toppled President Mubarak, is still on trial for corruption charges.
 

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