Egypt’s Mubarak -hopefully soon to be ex-president – just wrapped up his speech (video, transcript) in which he announced that neither he nor his son would seek election in the next election, and that he would speed up the election process. However, he also tried to paint a picture of himself as a great leader, keeper of safety and protector of the public – definitely not what he’s been for the last three decades. He also subtly implied that the Egyptian people had a choice between security, stability and chaos – him or the next government, whether it be the Brotherhood or otherwise. A clever turn of phrase on his speechwriter’s part, but it obviously wasn’t good enough for the protesters (it’s long been used by the regime as a way to prevent or counter any opposition – the idea that if anyone but Mubarek were to run the government, the country would collapse). Those in the streets of Cairo and Alexandria are not satisfied; chants of “Leave, leave!”, “Not enough, not enough!”, “Revolution until death!” and “Get out, Mubarek!” are still being chanted by the thousands. Even as Mubarak was speaking, the crowd was booing and heckling. When Mubarak said that he’d lived on Egyptian soil and he would die on Egyptian soil, it could be read as a counter-threat, almost: Mubarak will not be another Ben Ali. But the crowds countered that with their own “Revolution until death!” chant. They want their change now, not in September, and they’re sticking to their demands. But Mubarek wants a clean exit, an honorable one – not being ousted by protesters and forced from his country. But someone will have to give.
Watch a live feed from various major Egyptian cities on Al Jazeera’s English live stream.
State-run news shows are now running a kind of video montage in tribute to Mubarak.
This is a ridiculous situation – or, if not ridiculous, certainly historic. First Tunisia (Ben Ali), then Egypt (more than 200 protesters killed in the past week), now Jordan (the king revamped his cabinet), Syria, and Yemen. Absolutely a domino effect. Until this gets settled – however long that might be, days, weeks… – my eyes and the eyes of the world will definitely be glued to Egypt (and Al Jazeera).
CNN has a helpful page full of breaking updates in chronological reverse order (newest first). Here.