The official line is that succession talk is off the agenda; unofficially speculation is intensifying over who might take over from Hosni Mubarak as president of Egypt, if he doesn’t run for re-election in two years time.
Mubarak is 81 and at this weekend’s conference of his National Democratic Party, a new generation is waiting in the wings – notably Mubarak’s politician son Gamal, widely tipped as a possible successor.
But others too have their eye on the top job, notably intelligence chief Omar Suleiman -and the longer Mubarak senior fails to declare his intentions, the more potential rivals jostle for position.
Meanwhile the leader of the opposition Ayman Nour has launched a campaign to prevent Gamal succeeding his father.
Ineligible to stand himself after being jailed on forgery charges that he says were fabricated – the former candidate claims Egypt is becoming a pseudo-monarchy.