Egypt crisis: Hosni Mubarak refuses to quit
Hosni Mubarak has provoked fury among Egypt's protesters by handing over some powers to his deputy but pledging once again to stay in office.
10:23PM GMT 10 Feb 2011 TELEGRAPH
At the end of a dramatic day which saw the powerful army pledge to give Egypts protest movement all it wanted and and so fired expectations that the president would end his 30 year rule, Mr Mubarak instead said on tv again that he would stay on till September.
The protesters were chanting in dismay even midway through the speech as they realised they had been feeding on false hopes all afternoon.
Earlier in the day, the army appeared to be enacting a military coup and announced that the people’s wishes would be met. The main demand of the crowds, however, has been the departure of Mr Mubarak.
When they gathered around the television in Tahrir Square not long before midnight, the democracy protesters were sure Mr Mubarak was about to step down. Most had been celebrating for hours, and many had brought their children to witness history being made.
Arabic television had already told them that the army would step in to provide an interim president.But in a long statement the president ceded unspecified control to his vice-president and repeated that he would remain in his post until elections could be organised in September.
The Egyptian ambassador to the United States said Omar Suleiman is now the "de facto head of state".
Western powers were once again caught off guard by rapidly changing events in Egypt.
Having pushed the Egyptian regime hard for an "orderly transition" to genuine democracy, Mr Mubarak's stubbornness was a blow to the credibility of the Obama administration.
US President Barack Obama said: "The Egyptian people have been told that there was a transition of authority, but it is not yet clear that this transition is immediate, meaningful or sufficient.
"Too many Egyptians remain unconvinced that the government is serious about a genuine transition to democracy, and it is the responsibility of the government to speak clearly to the Egyptian people and the world."
Mohamed ElBaradei, a key leader of the Egyptian opposition, wrote on Twitter: "Egypt will explode. Army must save country now".
Mr Mubarak said he was transferring presidential prerogatives to his newly appointed vice-president Mr Suleiman, but said he planned to “bear his responsibilities” as long as his heart was beating.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said it was "not immediately clear" exactly which powers had been transferred to Mr Suleiman.
He called for “an urgent but orderly transition to a more broadly-based government”.
Always dourly confident, never showing a trace of doubt about his lifetime achievements, Mr Mubarak posed as a benign and tireless leader protecting the security and stability of his country and serving the welfare of its people.
However, those in Tahrir Square were dumbfounded by the president’s latest address.
“I am too angry to translate what he said,” one protester said as they made their way to the palace. “Surely he knows it is over for him now. Why is he doing this?”
Immediately after Mr Mubarak's speech, Mr Suleiman called on the protesters to "go home" and asked Egyptians to "unite and look to the future".
Mr Mubarak’s supporters can argue that he saved Egypt from chaos after militants assassinated his predecessor in 1981, kept Egypt out of wars, restored relations with the Arab world after the 1979 peace treaty with Israel and, after long delays, allowed his government to open up the economy to stimulate growth.
He also managed to suppress a long Islamist insurgency in southern Egypt in the 1990s after 1,200 people were killed.
But Mr Mubarak’s stubborn failure to change the corrupt and authoritarian political system he inherited finally caught up with him when he surrendered his powers to Mr Suleiman.
Ten days earlier he had been forced to promise he would step down before a presidential election due in September and to name a deputy for the first time since he took office.
In the last 17 days of tumultuous protests in Cairo and across the country, up to 300 people may have been killed, most of them by Mr Mubarak’s riot police.
The violence did not deter the crowds of demonstrators occupying Cairo’s Tahrir Square, who have stuck doggedly to a simple demand: Mubarak must go and go now.
“Uninstalling dictator ... 99% complete,” tweeted one Egyptian, Adel Shehadeh, hours before Mr Mubarak’s speech.
I have been puzzled about Obama's reaction since the beginning of this whatever you want to call it in Egypt but clearly:ReplyDelete
*Obama does not have an idea about what is going on in Egypt.
*Obama is mouthing off and interfering in Egypt's affairs.
*Obama is a fool.
The US president appeared to be wrong-footed and embarrassed earlier in the day by an expectation that Mubarak was planning to stand down and capitulate to the street.ReplyDelete
We should just mind our own business.ReplyDelete
Good for Mubarak, it looks like Mubarak won't fall so easy. Why doesn't Obama get his big fat nose out of this. It is obvious that he wants something out of this. What about places like Zimbabwe and other african countries that have gone through very rough times, They have dictators like Egypt but they go under the name of "President" or "leader of the people". You hear nothing from Obama about Mugabe.ReplyDelete
Can anyone explain how the 100000 demonstrators in Tahrir Square out of an Egyptian population of around 80 million have a democratic mandate to demand the removal of the country's president?
There are 70 billion reasons, stolen over the course of 30 years, that give the protesters the right to call for free and fair elections.ReplyDelete
While the tens of billions of dollars that the US has gifted Egypt, over the past 30 years, gives the US the "right" to comment upon Egyptian internal affairs.ReplyDelete
Whether or not that those comments have an impact, something else, again.
I read or heard that the Saudi King offered to fund the replacement of US aid.
We should force that issue, now.
If these events do not exemplify the faulty premises of providing "aid" to well established countries, nothing will.ReplyDelete
The cash does not buy any real influence with autocrats.
The "settlements" are illegal they say...ReplyDelete
They are filled with european colonizers...
This is what is said...
I am fed up with this attitude...
Of course I am referring to Arizona.ReplyDelete
Rat our resident "settler" living on other people's land...ReplyDelete
A murderer, self confessed is the Bar's Cliff Claven...
An opinion on everything, self appointed expert on all matters in the cosmos, as fast as a google search, Rat is all that is wrong with America.
He is an illegal settler, squatting on the native's lands..
I wonder, will the Bar support his continued crimes against the natives?ReplyDelete
Think of this...ReplyDelete
America, under the rodent's leader, wants to see democracy spread. So why do the people of Rat's own illegal settlement not allow open voting for all residents?
After all, according to the rodent's standards, he is the occupier and the natives are being abused...
Let's all hope that the natives start treating the rodents and his hatchlings like his hero's the palestinians treat the israelis...
I wonder, when the rockets, ied's attacks start how non-violent the bar's Ghandi will be?
Cant stop demographics is what the rodent spouts..ReplyDelete
Ok, AZ is occupied lands and the natives are taking it back...
Still supporting that euro-colony call Arizona RODENT?
What I would say is that "o" supports and defends the murder of Jewish souls, in Israel, approximately 1.5 million of the since 1948.ReplyDelete
He is the only poster on site to do so.
He is a NAZI, the use of "neo" does not apply.
He is an "Old School" NAZI.
desert rat said...ReplyDelete
What I would say is that "o" supports and defends the murder of Jewish souls, in Israel, approximately 1.5 million of the since 1948.
Ah the big lie...
Making up facts as you go along, but we all KNOW that I have never said that, but why let truth set you free?
You lie and distort.
You are the Israel, Jew and Zionism hater..
We all know..
And the truth?
You are a self confessed murderer...
I have never murderer...
maybe that's your issue..
how many abortions have YOU paid for...
Maybe your wife got one and it pisses you off...