Egypt | News

Mubarak Won't Step Down, Delegates Some Powers To VP

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said today that he will not step down from the office he's held for 30 years.

Despite growing outrage on the ground in Egypt, and rumors today that the military may take power from the long-serving leader, Mubarak contended that his presence remains essential for a "stable transition."

Specifically addressing the youth of Egypt who packed into Cairo's Tahrir Square and around the nation, Mubarak said that he would transfer an unspecified amount of his power to freshly appointed Vice President Omar Suleiman, instead of giving up his seat all together, as protesters demanded.

Though Mubarak recognized appeals for his ouster as "legitimate and right," and insisted he was "proud" of the youthful protesters, he also maintained that he had an "irrevocable commitment" to upholding his office and made clear that he would not follow "dictates coming from abroad."

Read more about Mubarak's speech, AFTER THE JUMP...

Mubarak went on to allude to some vague commissions that would help the transition ahead of September's elections, as well as to constitutional alterations to lift the national emergency, although gave no time line.

He went on to say that his remaining in power was essential to help Egypt "recover" a collective trust and foster "national dialogue as groups, not enemies."

Mubarak went to great lengths to express the "pain" he felt from criticism coming within Egypt's borders and to deflect the unrest away from himself: "This situation is not about me, but about Egypt," he claimed, as the crowd began chanting "Go, go, go."

Egypt's protests have already gone on for over two weeks, and it's unlikely Mubarak's so-called concessions will alleviate pressure on him to leave.

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  1. He is unable to face the reality.
    He will step down, one way or another. There is no turning back for him.
    Tomorrow will be a long day in Egypt. Anything can happen.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Feb 10, 2011 5:00:57 PM

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    Posted by: misiek | Feb 10, 2011 5:04:01 PM

  3. But will he leave like Suharto or Ceausescu?

    Posted by: JakeSFExPat | Feb 10, 2011 5:34:35 PM

  4. Even if he goes, the super high birth rates, illiteracy and unemployment will remain. Egypt is one of those no-future countries until they fix the fundamentals.

    Posted by: anon | Feb 10, 2011 5:39:45 PM

  5. Can some Democratic Party-ass licking queer explain to me how a President who supports a dictator who tortures people can possibly be a fierce advocate for LGBT people in the US?

    Posted by: Genesis Revelations | Feb 10, 2011 5:43:40 PM

  6. @GR - it is a job requirement for every U.S. President to support torturing dictators. Name me one who hasn't. So your question is moot.

    Posted by: Zlick | Feb 10, 2011 5:48:14 PM

  7. @anon I'm guessing one of those fundamentals is an authoritarian system which soaks up all the investment into a corrupt clique.

    Posted by: Xtab | Feb 10, 2011 5:51:53 PM

  8. Like many leaders in other African nations, Mubarak will not step aside so easily (look at Côte d'Ivoire). His recent speech was just a warning to those in the square to leave or face military action and that outside pressure will not work.

    Unfortunately Mr. Obama has a catch-22. Side with the protesters and have Mubarak turn a blind eye to Israel or side with Mubarak and be seen as anti-democratic.

    Posted by: Sam | Feb 10, 2011 5:57:11 PM

  9. All these old dictators hang on until the bitter end look at the Castro brothers.

    Posted by: jaragon | Feb 10, 2011 6:09:15 PM

  10. His comment about staying "not to follow dictates from abroad" was smart of him... if there's something Egyptians hate more than him, it's US foreign meddling. They reeeaalllly hate it.

    @JARAGON: The Castros are the worst example (don;t worry, there are tons of others), as they are actually an example of a dictator softening with age instead of hardening. In fact on gay rights, that country which used to imprison us, is on its way to surpassing the U.S. when it comes to Federal protections...

    Posted by: Strepsi | Feb 10, 2011 6:19:52 PM

  11. "Can some Democratic Party-ass licking queer explain to me how a President who supports a dictator who tortures people can possibly be a fierce advocate for LGBT people in the US?"

    He doesn't. At least not any more. Mubarak was likely told more than a week ago to leave immediately.

    More generally - what would you have Obama do? He can come out and publicly say Mubarak leave immediately and instantly be castigated for undue interference in Middle East politics. He can do nothing (or appear to do nothing) and appear indecisive.

    Of course, he could always do what good ol' W did, and simply overthrow a regime. Because that worked out so well for all involved.

    International politics are ugly and often filled with brutal truths. The worst thing to do is to put reality-challenged idealists - be they socialists or neo-cons - in charge and expect optimal results.

    Posted by: Zach | Feb 10, 2011 6:26:39 PM

  12. I'm not suggesting that Mubarak should stay, only that him going today or next Sept will not matter much. He is also not the only dictator in the world, so our fixation is somewhat shortsighted. And whether he goes or not, we should stop sending all that meaningless foreign military aid to Egypt. What do they need yet more tanks for?

    Posted by: anon | Feb 10, 2011 6:27:01 PM

  13. GR like zlick said

    ur question is moot since every US president whether r or D has supported not only torturing dictator Mubarak for the past 3o yrs + a multitude of others down through the ages

    Posted by: | Feb 10, 2011 9:32:42 PM

  14. Dictator-ass-licking has been a bipartisan tradition for almost all of America's history, largely because they lick back.

    Posted by: BobN | Feb 10, 2011 9:52:01 PM

  15. the start of Jehosephat

    Posted by: shannon | Feb 11, 2011 1:21:18 AM

  16. Military aid to Egypt will continue, Mubarak or not, because it was part of the deal Carter signed in exchange for an Egyptian peace treaty with Israel. No military aid, no more peace treaty. Which would you prefer?

    Posted by: Xtab | Feb 11, 2011 1:42:00 AM

  17. Annnnnnywaaaaay...did KFC Cairo reopen yet? This is temporary, but eleven herbs and spices are forever. And I'm not going there to broker a deal without a functioning KFC--or anywhere, for that matter. Dunno about these people, but I'd rather be chowing down on some fried chicken rather than rioting against an oppressive dictatorship. Mmmmhmmmm, the double down (is it a sammich or is it more than a sammich? Think about it) beats a robust civil society any day... and don't lie to my face that it doesn't! 'sides, the colonel's wrath isn't to be tempted.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 11, 2011 1:46:24 AM

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