Mubarak to name V-P (if he wins)

President Mubarak will name a vice-president after he wins presidential elections in September, according to his spokesman cited in the FT on 14 June. This confirms everyone's expectations that Mubarak will run and win in September. Naming a successor also means that Mubarak will have to come off the fence on talk of succession; until now, he's always pointed to the constitutional mechanism for deciding the president.

This announcement means another round of "will-he, won't-he" president-centred specualation, following the earlier 'uncertainty' about whether he would run for president at all. Guessing who will be the VP will distract attention away from the fairness of presidential and parliamentary elections later this year.

Still, the choice of VP will indicate how Mubarak sees the future of the regime. Unless, like the Iranians, he names more than one vice-president...