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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mubarak Tells Protesters To Take A Hike, Power To VP Suleiman

Article first published as ">">Breaking: Mubarak Enrages Egypt, Future In Hands Of Military, Citizens by Tim Paynter, on Technorati.

Egyptian activists in Tahrir Square, dubbed "Liberation Square", waived their shoes in the air as an insult to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak after a speech he gave on national TV.   Not much was liberating about the Mubarak speech. He continued the same promises made before, to not run for reelection in September and to support reforms to assure a new generation of leaders take over the Egyptian country through elections.

“I announce in very plain unequivocal words that I will not run in the coming presidential elections. I announce I will … continue to shoulder my responsibility until the authority and power is handed over to the people in elections this coming September.”

“Go! Go! Leave! Leave!” an angry crowd yelled in response.

“I will not take orders from anyone”, Mubarak said, a possible reference to activists who demand he leave office immediately. The statement might also reflect subtle pressure from world leaders including President Obama, encouraging Mubarak to step down.

In Egypt’s second largest city, Alexandria, a large crowd changed from scenes of jubilation to a demonstration of anger, crying, shouting and obscenities. Thousands poured into the streets on their way to rally at the nearby military base. Citizens are calling upon the Egyptian army to force Mubarak to resign.

It was an announcement by a military leader in Liberation Square earlier in the day that sparked the protest today. Gen. Hassan al-Roueini, the military commander for Cairo, spoke to thousands gathered in Tahrir Square:


“All your demands will be met today,” Hassan al-Roueini said on live stream with Al Jazeera, a media service catering to Middle East politics.





The protesters are concerned Mubarak will diffuse the protest and then place a puppet government in office.  Until recently, he was grooming his son to take his place in a continuation of a perpetual reign of power.  Recent unrest may have put the kibosh on that plan.


tent city in tahrir park

Tent city Liberation Park, Cairo, Egypt

Hassan al-Roueini’s remarks were interpreted as an assurance Mubarak and his government will leave office, in conformance with one of the primary demands of the protesters. Hundreds of thousands poured into the street to hear the expected resignation.

Al Jazeera quoted the phrase as “Everything you want will be realized.”

The Egyptian military convened a special council today, something they have only done 3 times in the past 30 years. President Mubarak did not chair the counsel, as he usually would. Instead, Mohamed Tantawi, Egypt’s defense minister, chaired the meeting. The counsel indicated it would convene in a continuous session to safeguard the Egyptian people, a signal they were in effect taking control of the government. That statement now remains in the air as to it’s true meaning.

During Mubarak's speech, he indicated he would transfer power to Vice President Omar Suleiman, a move which activists consider a continuation of the Mubarak regime.  Suleiman is accused of being brutal in his dealings with the opposition, including use of torture.  Forty-five minutes after the Mubarak speech, Omar Suleiman appeared on public television asking for unity and calm.


omar suleiman
Vice President Omar Suleiman calls for peace

“We cannot allow those perpetrating intimidation. let’s join hands and march forth. the love for the homeland is the top priority. I call to the youths of Egypt, go back home, go back to work. The country needs your hands. Let’s join hands.”

Activists are calling for peace.  A massive protest is expected tomorrow. The future of Egypt likely lies in the hands of the military, which to date has not taken sides. It was the military which brought Mubarak to office in a coup 30 years ago.Read more:

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