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Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Hosni Mubarak to leave Office (but not yet)

Reports claim that Hosni Mubarak has announced that he will step down at the next election in September. What does this betoken for Egypt and its people? Are these reports true, or is this simply a political ruse on the part of this wily old dictator? Given the scale of today's demonstrations and the army's announcement that it will not fire on protesters, it seems that he has no option other than to leave office and that this statement is indeed genuine.

When he does eventually go, which one would assume ought to be soon, who will be left in charge? Will a caretaker administration allow sufficient time for a pluralist slate of candidates and political parties to contest the Egyptian elections, or will, as many have predicted, the Muslim Brotherhood simply step into the void and proffer itself as the Government of the people's choice? Egypt falling into the hands of Islamists would be very bad news for its people, particularly for its large Coptic minority, as well as for the wider world. Will Egypt choose the route of Eastern Europe in 1989, or of Iran in 1979? Hopefully the former, but that may be being overly optimistic.


  1. I predict el-Baradei to win and shortly to be overtaken by the Opposition - the Muslim Brotherhood. If that happens we're in big trouble - no wonder US/UK govts are fainting.

    Still, the govts of the world brought it on themselves - and so did the people who voted for them.

  2. That's the snag of backing despots who don't allow space for political dissent and pluralism to operate. Discontent then by default gets channelled and exploited by the most unsavoury and often violent 'revolutionary' forces who have the discipline and lack of moral scruples necessary to impose their will on the people when 'the moment' comes. This could well prove to be the case with the Muslim Brotherhood.


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