Where’s an embattled leader to go?

February 8, 2011

Spa treatment or desert retreat?

With so many possible locations from which to choose and no worries about stretching the 401K, where’s an embattled leader to settle in retirement? GERMANY/

Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak has announced he will not run for reelection in September. But protesters who have taken to the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities by the thousands are demanding he leave office now.

Mubarak, 82, vows never to flee and says he will die on Egyptian soil.

Nevertheless, a departure with dignity may be among various scenarios under discussion as stakeholders continue searching for ways to bring the crisis in Egypt to an end.

Will it end  with Mubarak traveling to Germany for a prolonged medical stay?

Germany’s Spiegel Online reports, based on information it obtained, a luxury clinic near Baden-Baden — a German spa town on the edge of the Black Forest — is  favored as a likely destination.

But wired.com reports it’s more likely Mubarak will land in Saudi Arabia.  The article cites Recorded Future,  a data mining company funded by  Google and the CIA.

“If you want to know where he’s going next,” says Recorded Future CEO Christopher Ahlberg, “you’ve got to know what he’s done in the past.”

Mubarak has been a frequent visitor to Saudi Arabia, the article notes. It would not be an unprecedented move.

Toppled in Tunisia last month,  former Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali has taken up residence in the Saudi kingdom for an unspecified period of time.

And while we’re on the subject of presidents and exile….

In  Haiti,  outgoing President Rene Preval can’t depart fast enough for some Haitians who want him to  leave office immediately…

While  former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide,  ousted in 2004,  is poised to return home from exile in South Africa…

Meanwhile former president-for-life  Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, who fled to exile in France in 1986,  recently returned (for love or money?). The former dictator, now facing corruption and “crimes against humanity” lawsuits,  is prohibited from leaving.

Photo credit: Reuters/Wolfgang Rattay (a hotel in the German health resort of Baden-Baden)

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