Mubarak, son Gamal quit leadership of ruling party: Report

Embattled President Hosni Mubarak and his son Gamal quit the leadership of Egypt`s ruling party.

Cairo: Embattled President Hosni Mubarak
and his son Gamal on Saturday quit the leadership of Egypt`s ruling
party in a new gesture to convince anti-government protesters
that the regime is serious about political reform.

State TV said the top leadership body of Egypt`s
ruling party, including party secretary-general Safwat
el-Sharif, resigned.

Protesters have shrugged off other concessions by the
regime in the past 12 days of unprecedented street
demonstrations, saying they will settle for nothing less than
the immediate ouster of the embattled president who has ruled
for nearly 30 years.

According to state TV, the ruling party`s
six-member Steering Committee of the General Secretariat
stepped down and was replaced. The council was the party`s
highest decision-making body, and el-Sharif and other outgoing
members were some of the most powerful.

El-Sharif has been replaced by Hossam Badrawi, a party
figure who had been sidelined within its ranks.

Gamal Mubarak, a member of the Steering Committee,
has been seen as being groomed by his father to succeed
him as president.

Omar Suleiman, the Vice President promised last week
that Gamal would not run for president in elections due
in September.

Uncertainty and tension gripped Egypt with
international clamour growing on beleaguered President to hand
over power immediately as saboteurs blew up a key gas pipeline
to Israel adding a fresh dimension to the 12-day old crisis
in the Arab nation.

As unprecedented protests raged at the famous Tahrir
Square in central Cairo, the state TV reported "dangerous
explosions continuing from one spot to another" in the main
source of gas supplying pipeline in El Arish.

With no let up in protests fury, President Mubarak,
who appeared increasingly cornered, held a meeting of his new
cabinet to revive the economy and project calm in the face of
the increasing turmoil.

The meeting was attended by Egypt`s new Prime Minister
Ahmed Shafiq as well as the central bank governor and the
ministers of petroleum, social solidarity, trade and industry,
and finance.

The top executive of the ruling National Democratic
Party, which includes the embattled president`s son Gamal
Mubarak who is head of the powerful policies committee,
resigned on masse on day 12 of mass protests against his
regime, state television said.

"The members of the executive committee resigned from
their posts," it said.

It said Badrawi, prominent physician who is reputed to
have good relations with opposition figures, would take over
as NDP secretary general and political bureau chief.


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