Mubarak Stepping Down
February 11, 2011 by staff
Mubarak Stepping Down, (AP) – The mood in Tahrir Square, was exultant. Finally, the demonstrators thought, their historical moment had come: President Hosni Mubarak was about to quit. Then the euphoria turned to fury. As Mubarak began to speak on television Thursday night, his voice echoes on loudspeakers audio and mobile radios, the words of the huge crowd expected never came.
The discomfort turned to head-shaking disbelief and mutterings of disgust. Then anger surged, and tears of frustration fell. Mubarak did not resign. Even before he finished speaking, people were booing and chanting “Go away!” and “We’re not happy!” while waving their shoes in the air, the plant facing a large outdoor screen that speech the president of notes behind a podium.
Gesturing with shoes is a grave insult in the Arab world. But is the crowd who felt insulted, cheated, their expectations shattered after a day of conflicting reports on what was to come in the Egyptian crisis.
One of the rumors fueled in part by a military statement that the protesters’ demands are met, is that Mr. Mubarak would resign. Instead, he handed power to his vice president and promised reforms, including repeal of emergency laws hated.
He said he was “categorically to continue to assume my responsibility to protect the constitution and safeguard the interests of the people” and vowed he would stay in the country.
The numbers of Egyptians who oppose him, though, see no real reform is possible as long as Mubarak remains in office. They said they would stage more protests, and some have even called for the army to oust him. The BBC reports, “in accordance with Article 84 of the Egyptian Constitution, if the president steps down, the speaker of the People’s Assembly shall temporarily assume the presidency. Second, a new president must be chosen in a maximum period of 60 days from the date of the vacancy of the presidential office. It is not clear whether this applies if the Supreme Military Council is in charge of the affairs of the nation. “The next 24 hours and the weekend that followed will be a time to ease tensions in Cairo, demonstrators returned to their homes and a power struggle begins to take place. The short-term outlook, however, is still fluid and unpredictable.
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