‘Get out’ Friday nears for Egypt’s Mubarak
Newslinks, snippets and sources for the fast-moving events in Egypt.
President Hosni Mubarak announced Tuesday he will not run for a new term in September elections but rejected protesters’ demands he step down immediately and leave the country, vowing to die on Egypt’s soil, after a dramatic day in which a quarter-million Egyptians staged their biggest protest yet calling on him to go.
Although internet is not ordinarily accessible from Egypt, there’s a variety of alternatives available. Go to egypt.alive.in to explore links to a variety of tweets and audio content.
Al Jazeera’s special section, ‘Revolt on the Nile’, has a large and growing number of videos, tweets, messages, comments, opinions and reportage from Cairo, Alexandria and elsewhere.
Jordan’s King Abdallah II, bowing to public pressure, fired his government on Tuesday and tasked a new prime minister with quickly boosting economic opportunities and giving Jordanians a greater say in politics.
Gulf News reports that at Cairo’s Tahrir, or Liberation, Square, focus of protests for a week, young professionals in their 20s were unimpressed. “The speech is useless and only inflames our anger,” said Shadi Morkos. “We will continue to protest.”
In Alexandria, the second city, troops in tanks fired shots in the air to keep order after skirmishes between anti-government and pro-Mubarak groups. But there was no sign that the army was trying to halt anti-government protests. It has said it will protect marchers and called their demands “legitimate”.
But some analysts said tensions could rise even within the army if Mubarak were to hang on too long, and if senior officers were seen to be protecting a leader who had lost legitimacy. “The longer this goes on, the more people will associate the military top brass with Mubarak. That is very dangerous,” said Faysal Itani, deputy head of Middle East and North Africa Forecasting at Exclusive Analysis.
An analysis in The News, Pakistan, has said that Air Marshal Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak has been the President of Jumhuriyah Misr al-Arabiyah for 30 years. At 82, the president has plans of gifting the presidency to Gamal Al Din Mohammed Hosni Sayed Mubarak, his younger son, as if the Arab Republic of Egypt is the president’s personal estate. An uprising spurting from within the centre of power clearly indicates that a powerful faction from within the leadership is either guiding or managing the outbreak. It isn’t a revolution but a war of succession. In all probability, a powerful faction very close to the centre of power disagrees with Hosni Mubarak’s plans of gifting the presidency to Gamal and the entire upheaval is being stage managed to bring about the desired result.
The Egyptian theatre now has four key players — Lt Gen Sami Annan, Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Army, Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, Defence Minister, Air Marshal Ahmed Shafiq, Minister for Civil Aviation, and Lt Gen Omar Suleiman, the intelligence chief. Of the four, Lt Gen Annan commands 468,000 troops, Field Marshal Tantawi oversees 60,000 Republican Guards while Lt Gen Suleiman is rumoured to be ailing. President Mubarak is playing out the last of his tricks. If protests continue even after the dissolution of the parliament, chances are Mubarak would be eased out. Lt Gen Sami Annan will have the last word and Air Marshal Ahmed Shafiq may be a good compromise candidate to replace Mubarak.