Abandoned, a defiant Mubarak said he will step down after elections, “and die in Egypt”.
Abandoned by the egyptian army, and with no support from western countries, a embattled president Hosni Mubarak has finally bowed to the pressure of people massing on the streets. In a television speech, Mubarak announced he will step down at the next election in september. Until then, Mubarak said he was hoing to stay in power to assure the stability of Egypt and its democratic process.
Egypt is at risk of falling in a “bagdad-nization” of the country, with an opposition dominated by the Islamic Brotherhood.
The radical islamists in the region, the Hamas, Hezbollad and the government of Iran are actively expressing its support to the radicalization of Egypt.
Mubarak position of remaining in power was immediately rejected by angry crowds and promised yet more drama in Egypt’s extraordinary crisis.
“In the few months remaining in my current term I will work towards ensuring a peaceful transition of power,” Mubarak said. “I have exhausted my life in serving Egypt and my people. I will die on the soil of Egypt and be judged by history” – a clear reference to the fate of Tunisia’s president who fled into exile last month.
Looking grave as he spoke on state TV in front of the presidential seal, Mubarak attacked those responsible for protests that had been “manipulated by political forces,” caused mayhem and chaos and endangered the “stability of the nation.”
In a defiant, finger-wagging performance the 82-year-old said he was always going to quit in September – a position he had never made public until now.
Opposition leaders had already warned throughout a dramatic eighth day of mass protests that only Mubarak’s immediate departure would satisfy them.
Some media informed today that Mr Mubarak was finally compelled to act after a direct intervention by Barack Obama. The US president sent a special envoy, Frank Wisner, to tell Mr Mubarak that he had lost support and that it was “critical” he oversee a transition to free and fair elections in September.
Western leaders have repeatedly expressed a desire for a controlled transfer of power. They had been alarmed by Mr Mubarak’s refusal to confirm that neither he nor his unpopular son Gamal would try to stand in September. This raised the risk of greater instability and the seizure of power by radical Islamist forces.
Meanwhile sweeping change continued to infect the whole Middle East region yesterday when King Abdullah of Jordan responded to street protests by sacking the government and pledging wide-ranging political reforms.
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