Mubarak refuses to step down — insults the Egyptian people — updated

New York Times:

Remarkably it appears that state television made a crude attempt to convince its viewers that Wael Ghonim, the protest organizer who was just released after nearly two weeks in detention, had encouraged protesters to return home following President Hosni Mubarak’s speech.

According to Egyptian bloggers, state television reported on Thursday night that Mr. Ghonim had called for an end to protests online — although he posted no such message on his Twitter feed. A short time later, a friend of Mr. Ghonim’s wrote on Twitter: “Wael is in Tahrir and can’t access Internet. He no longer thinks demands are met. He thought that before the speech.” He added that Mr. Ghonim said: “I have NOT made any statements to anyone since Mubarak’s speech…. I did NOT tell people to go home.”

Al Jazeera: John Bradley, author of Inside Egypt: The Land Of The Pharoahs On The Brink Of A Revolution, tells us: “The revolution starts tomorrow. We will see unprecedented numbers of Egyptians on the streets.”

The Cable:

The Obama administration has gone silent following the latest speech by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in which he seemed to cede some powers to Vice President Omar Suleiman but refused to step down from office.

“We don’t have any immediate comment,” National Security Spokesman Tommy Vietor told The Cable. Follow-up requests for information about how the White House was processing the latest news from Cairo went unreturned. The State Department cancelled its daily press briefing and State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley’s latest tweet on the matter was several hours ago.

Washington Post:

Egypt’s ambassador to the United States, Sameh Shoukry, later told CNN that Mubarak has transferred “all his presidential authority to the vice president,” whom he said is now “the de facto president.” Shoukry said Mubarak remains the “de jure president.”

Mubarak also said in his speech that he was taking steps to lift a widely despised emergency law.

Suleiman, addressing the nation after Mubarak spoke, urged the protesters to go home. Like Mubarak, he did not explain the transfer of powers.

Los Angeles Times:

Israeli lawmaker Benjamin Ben-Eliezer — who spoke with the Egyptian president by phone on Thursday before his speech — described Mubarak as “different from what I heard on the news.”

“He sounded very strong and defiant,” Ben-Eliezer said. “He analyzed the situation properly and tried to predict the future of the Middle East.”

In Saudi Arabia, officials have offered Mubarak a place to live, but have advised him not to leave, an Arab diplomatic source told CNN.
Saudi Arabia has denounced the “flagrant interference of some countries” in the internal affairs of Egypt, the official Saudi Press Agency reported late Wednesday, citing the kingdom’s foreign minister, Prince Saud al Faisal.

Saudi Arabia is confident that Egypt will “overpass the ordeal and seek a peaceful solution to the crisis” in a way that would “not negatively affect its economy or tamper with its stability and security,” the official news service cited Prince Saud as saying.

Mohamed ElBaradei:

People are stunned here. Everybody expected Mubarak and his regime — they lost all credibility, all legitimacy — to step aside. People were expecting that we would then move into a transitional period where you would have a government of national unity, to carry on for a year to prepare for fair and free elections. There is no way that the Egyptian people right now are ready to accept either Mubarak or his vice president….
Suleiman is considered to be an extension of Mubarak, they are twins. Neither of them is acceptable to the people- even Suleiman is less acceptable.

Human Rights Watch:

Egypt’s international partners, including the United States and European Union members, should make clear that continued assistance to Egypt’s security forces depends on immediate progress towards full respect for human rights and a democratic transition.

Tweets immediately after Mubarak’s speech:

@Sandmonkey: Mubarak is staying. The bastard is staying. #jan25

@asadabukhalil: He is not getting it. He is begging the Egyptian people to storm the Bastille.

@asadabukhalil: This speech will go down in history as the dumbest speech ever delivered by a dictator.

@3arabawy: Chants in Tahrir Square: Down with Mubarak! Down with Mubarak! #Jan25

@Sandmonkey: People are going crazy in the street. We are joining them. #jan25

@Sandmonkey: People are leaving in big groups chanting “tomorrow tomorrow” #jan25

@Ghonim: [No tweets yet. Perhaps embarrassed by “Mission Accomplished” four hours ago.]

@avinunu: Remember that US has not suspended aid to Mubarak regime’s security forces. Words aside, Obama still supports Mubarak.

@blibrahim: Every Egyptian is asking the Supreme Military Council — where is the good news you promised us today?

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7 thoughts on “Mubarak refuses to step down — insults the Egyptian people — updated

  1. Dieter Heymann

    The Egyptian ambassador to our country stated that President Mubarak has transferred all powers to VP Suleiman. When he was asked whether Mubarak can take all powers back at any time in the future the ambassador hedged because he did not at that time know or remember what Egypt’s constitution specifies on that issue.
    There are three articles of Egypt’s constitution that deal with the Vice Presidency:
    Article 82
    If on account of any temporary obstacle the President of the Republic is unable to carry out his functions, he shall delegate his powers to a vice-president.
    Article 139
    The President of the Republic may appoint one or more vice-presidents, define their
    jurisdiction and relieve them of their posts.
    The rules relating to the calling into account of the President of the Republic shall be
    applicable to the Vice-Presidents.
    Article 140
    Before exercising his functions, the Vice-President shall take the following oath before the President of the Republic: “I swear by Almighty God to uphold the Republican system with loyalty, to respect the Constitution and the law, to look after the interests of the people fully and to safeguard the independence and territorial integrity of the motherland”.
    The constitution is clear: Mubarak has NOT de-facto resigned because he can take back all powers at any time in the future: “relieve them of their posts”.

  2. Dieter Heymann

    According to Al Jazeera the new government (VP?) has announced that the following article of the constitution is proposed to be removed:

    Article 179
    The Socialist Public Prosecutor shall be responsible for taking the procedures which secure
    the people’s rights, the safety of the society and its political system, the preservation of the
    socialist achievements, and commitment to the socialist behaviour. The law shall define his other competencies. He shall be subject to the control the People’s Assembly in accordance to what is prescribed by law.

    The following are considered for revision:
    Article 77
    The term of the Presidency is six Gregorian years starting from the date of the announcement of the result of the plebiscite. The President of the Republic may be re-elected for other successive terms.

    Article 88
    The necessary conditions stipulated in the members of the People’s Assembly shall be
    defined by law.
    The rules of election and referendum shall be determined by law, while the ballot shall be
    conducted under the supervision of members of a judiciary organ.

    Article 92
    The duration of the People’s Assembly term is five Gregorian years from the date of its first meeting. Elections for renewal of the Assembly shall take place within the sixty days preceding the termination of the term.

    Article 189
    The President of the Republic, as well as the People’s Assembly, may request the
    amendment of one or more of the Constitution articles. The articles to be revised and the reasons justifying such amendment must be mentioned in the request for amendment.
    In case the request emanates from the People’s Assembly, it should be signed by at least one third of the Assembly members.
    In all cases, the Assembly shall discuss the amendment in principle, and the decision in this respect shall be taken by the majority of its members.
    If the request is rejected, the amendment of the same particular articles may not be requested again before the expiration of one year from the date of such rejection.
    If the People’s Assembly approves the principle of revision, the articles requested to be
    mended shall be discussed after two months from the date of the said approval.
    If the modification is approved by two-thirds of the members of the Assembly, it must be
    referred to the people for a plebiscite.
    If the amendment is approved, it shall be considered in force from the date of the
    announcement of the result of the plebiscite.

    Article 76, however, which regulates in the most Byzantine manner who can run for the Presidency remains in place.

  3. scott

    I know this is tangential, but I’ve been big on how this is all a reflection of the collapse of the American Empire. Here’s what the Dallas school district is looking at:

    below is the complete PowerPoint presentation given to the board of trustees. In it, you’ll find what the super likes to call “the new reality,” which could very well include more than 3,100 campus workers let go, student-teacher ratios of 35:1 in middle and high schools, and millions more lost for supplies, bilingual education programs … well, hell, you name it
    http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/unfairpark/

    It amounts to a 260 million dollar budget cut, fully 20%. This is just education, both state and local are cutting cops programs (yea!) but many, many jobs are gonna be cut. So, Dallas may see fully a 1/2 trillion dollar hole in its economy. And, this is Dallas, one of the best performing cities and regions in the country. So, are we gonna continue to support over 750 military bases abroad while these cuts happen? This is a “worst case scenario” as the TX legislature hasn’t decided, once these domestic austerity measures are more than speculation, maybe people will wake up.

    Or, maybe we’re so full of Tea that we’ll go with it, it’ll be “good for the economy” say the GOP. Well, unlike what we faced in 1933, we’re already in one hell of a debt hole. Much of what the Federal Reserve has done has exacerbated the recession for most of us. The free money they are throwing out (at literally 1/2% or less) has been turned to inflate commodities and stocks. Gasoline should cost $1.50 now based on supply and demand, the premium is for the financiers.

    And this is squeezing Egypt. We, due to the language barrier and legacies rely on the EU to monitor North Africa. Their austerity measures have whithered NATO along with Afghanistan, Iraq and our adventurism. So, much sooner than we might imagine, this whole Empire could collapse. We are Egyptian, we are facing the same source of funding and control, all our shackles could rust away. We’re left with the T.S. Eliot question, will we go out “with a bang, or a whimper?”

  4. scott

    Baredei has too loose a tongue for the West to ever trust, and that damned integrity thing, utterly unqualified.

  5. Renfro

    I for one did not expect Mubarak to step down.
    I expected him to do exactly what he did.
    This is Phase One for most dictators.
    Phase two now begins.

    Obama will (should) wish he had covertly arranged a soft coup with a popular army officer as an interim before this is all over….THAT he could have done….for everyone asking what he could do.

  6. Norman

    Renfro, I would concur with what you are saying here, though I’m not sure the “O” has it in him to do the right thing? After all, he’s flip flopped too many times already, doesn’t seem to care about people unless they are the elites. I guess that’s what happens to those who grow up in those circles, especially the lower elites.

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