Steps Down, Who? Mubarak!

The most first  important is steps down, then I would like to sing:

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.

Mubarak steps down … finally


Published: Feb 11, 2011 19:05 Updated: Feb 11, 2011 22:38

CAIRO: Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak finally stepped and handed control to the military on Friday after 29 years in power, bowing to a historic 18-day wave of pro-democracy demonstrations by millions of enraged citizens.

As Vice President Omar Suleiman announced on nationwide TV that Mubarak has left the national capital, cheers thundered across the country.

“The people ousted the president,” chanted a crowd of tens of thousands outside his presidential palace in Cairo.

Several hundred thousand protesters massed in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square exploded into joy, waving Egyptian flags, and car horns and celebratory shots in the air were heard around the city of 18 million in joy after Vice President Omar Suleiman made the announcement on national TV just after nightfall.

“Massalama Mubarak,” was the instant reaction of a local businessman, when he heard the news.

Suleiman also confirmed news reports that Mubarak and his family had left for the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, 250 miles from the capital Cairo, as protesters deluged squares and marched on presidential palaces and the State TV building.

Mubarak had sought to cling to power, handing some of his authorities to Suleiman while keeping his title. But an explosion of protests Friday rejecting the move appeared to have pushed the military into forcing him out completely.

Hundreds of thousands marched throughout the day in cities across the country as soldiers stood by, besieging his palace in Cairo and Alexandria and the state TV building. A governor of a southern province was forced to flee to safety in the face of protests there.

It was the biggest day of protests yet in the upheaval that began Jan. 25, growing from youth activists working on the Internet into a mass movement that tapped into widespread discontent with Mubarak’s authoritarian lock on power, corruption, economic woes and widespread disparities between rich and poor.

“In these grave circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave his position as president of the republic,” a grim-looking Suleiman said. “He has mandated the Armed Forces Supreme Council to run the state. God is our protector and succor.” Nobel Peace laureate 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.” “The country has been liberated after decades of repression,” he said adding that he expects a “beautiful” transition of power.

Outside Mubarak’s Oruba Palace in northern Cairo, women on balconies ululated with the joyous tongue-trilling used to mark weddings and births.

“Finally we are free,” said Safwan Abo Stat, a 60-year-old in the crowd of protesters at the palace.

“From now on anyone who is going to rule will know that these people are great.” Another, Mohammed el-Masry, weeping with joy, said he had spent the past two weeks in Tahrir before marching to the palace Friday. He was now headed back to the square to join his ecstatic colleagues. “We made it,” he gasped.

The question now turned to how the military, Egypt’s most powerful institution, will handle the transition in power.

Earlier in the day, the Armed Forces Supreme Council — a body of top generals — vowed to guide the country to greater democracy.

In a statement hours before Suleiman’s announcement, it said it was committed “to sponsor the legitimate demands of the people and endeavorfor their implementation within a defined timetable … until achieving a peaceful transition all through a democratic society aspired by the people.” Abdel-Rahman Samir, one of the youth organizers of the protests, said the protest movement would now open negotiations with the military over democratic reform but vowed protests would continue to ensure change is carried out.

“We still don’t have any guarantees yet — if we end the whole situation now the it’s like we haven’t done anything,” he said. “So we need to keep sitting in Tahrir until we get all our demands.” But, he added, “I feel fantastic. …. I feel like we have worked so hard, we planted a seed for a yera and a half and now we are now finally sowing the fruits.”

Hours before news of Mubarak’s departure from the capital city spread, tens of thousands of men, women and even children from all walks of life were poured into Tahrir Square, joining an estimated two million protesters demanding that Mubarak steps down immediately.

Crowds have filled up the whole square, leaving no space there for people to make a step. Huge signboards in both Arabic and English read “People Demand Removal of the Regime.” Below photos of the president and members of the party were single-word captions that read “Corrupt,” “Thief,” and other derogatory labels. People kept themselves informed of developments in other parts of the country through their mobile phones.

Different groups at Tahrir Square demanded an abrogation of emergency laws, the dismissal of the Assembly and Shoura and a trial of all officials charged with corruption.,

The crowd marched along the Corniche running along the banks of the Nile in downtown Cairo to the barbed wire barricades around the station, which was being defended by well-armed troops. They halted there and chanted slogans.

In a statement read out on state television, an army council said it would guarantee Mubarak’s promised reforms but also called for life in the country to return to normal.

Outside Mubarak’s palace, an army colonel read out the statement, prompting one demonstrator to angrily grab the officer’s microphone to denounce the move.

“You have disappointed us, all our hopes rested in you,” he shouted, as the crowd began to chant slogans calling for Mubarak to be put on trial.

“No, no, this is not a coup,” the colonel protested, insisting the army would not seize power but rather would work to ensure that the popular will was reflected in the civilian regime’s program.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest opposition group, urged Egyptians on Friday to stay on the streets to oust Mubarak from power, calling the veteran ruler’s latest speech a trick.

“Mubarak appeared before us with a stinging speech that proves that he is still in charge. He still says he will do this and do that but will delegate authority to his deputy. But it’s just more deceptive words to stop the people’s demands,” the party said in a statement.

Mubarak said in the speech he was giving Vice-President Omar Suleiman presidential powers, but he gave no details and said he intended to stay in office until elections in September.

Suleiman promised in a speech afterward to carry out political and constitutional reforms that Mubarak had authorized, and urged protesters to return home.

“The two statements issued by Mubarak and his deputy are rejected by the people,” said the Muslim Brotherhood. “It is your fate to face an arrogant, corrupt regime that is betting on your patience and ability running out, so prove how patient and determined and insistent you are and take back your rights.”



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