Mubarak, Muhammad Hosni

Mubarak, Muhammad Hosni hōsˈnē mo͞obəˈrək [key], 1928–2020, president of Egypt (1981–2011). Air force commander (1972–75) and vice president (1975–81) of Egypt, he became president after Anwar al-Sadat was assassinated on Oct. 6, 1981. Mubarak pledged to continue Sadat's policies, particularly the Camp David accords with Israel. He did, however, criticize many Israeli policies, and relations between the two nations were cooler in the late 1980s and much of the 1990s. Mubarak sought to control Egypt's excessive population growth, combat economic problems, and contain trends toward fundamentalist Islam, but his authoritarian rule also suppressed legitimate dissent and tolerated widespread corruption. He was reelected in 1987, 1993, 1999, and 2005, the last time in a contested election marred by some irregularities and low turnout. Days of protests in early 2011 against his rule led the military to force him to resign. In 2012 he was convicted of being an accessory to murder for failing to stop the killings during the 2011 protests and corruption charges against him were dismissed on technical grounds; a retrial, however, was ordered in 2013. In 2014 he and his sons were convicted of embezzlement, but later in the year all other criminal cases against him ended in dismissal or acquittal. A retrial ordered (2015) in the embezzlement case confirmed the verdict. Later that year a second retrial was ordered on the charges relating to the 2011 protester deaths; it ultimately ended in acquittal.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Egyptian History: Biographies