Friday, February 11, 2011

Mubarak resigns, flees Egypt in wake of military coup

Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, has resigned from his post, handing over power to the armed forces.

Omar Suleiman, the vice-president, announced in a televised address that the president was "waiving" his office, and had handed over authority to the Supreme Council of the armed forces.

Suleiman's short statement was received with a roar of approval and by celebratory chanting and flag-waving from a crowd of hundreds of thousands in Cairo's Tahrir Square, as well by pro-democracy campaigners who attended protests across the country on Friday.

Suleiman also seems to have lost the "powers" that were handed over to him by Mubarak just yesterday.

In his statement to the press, Suleiman said "In these grave circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave his position as president of the republic," he said. "He has mandated the Armed Forces Supreme Council to run the state. God is our protector and succor."

"Finally we are free," said Safwan Abou Stat, a 60-year-old in the crowd of protesters at the palacer. "From now on anyone who is going to rule will know that these people are great."


Free from what?

A dictatorship, perhaps, but the real test comes in the hours and days ahead.

Free from regional stability, defintiely.

My belief is that the religious zealots will begin to make their presence known, and that the Muslim Brotherhood will assume power.

Nobel Peace laureate (and Muslim Brotherhood spokesman) Mohammed ElBaradei, whose young suporters were among the organizers of the protest movement, told The Associated Press, "This is the greatest day of my life."

Today's events ironically fall on the anniversary another fall from power in the Middle East;

32 years to the day after the collapse of the shah's government in Iran.

I've been saying all along that the unrest in Egypt is a flashback to 1979 Iran.

32 years to the day.

Interesting times we are living in.

Should be even more intersting in the days ahead.


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