Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak (Arabic: محمد حسني سيد مبارك, Egyptian Arabic pronunciation: [mæˈħæmːæd ˈħosni ˈsæjːed moˈbɑːɾɑk], Muḥammad Ḥusnī Sayyid Mubārak; born May 4, 1928) is the fourth and current President of the Arab Republic of Egypt. He was appointed Vice President in 1975, and assumed the Presidency on October 14, 1981, following the assassination of President Anwar El Sadat. He is the longest-serving Egyptian ruler since Muhammad Ali Pasha. Before he entered politics Mubarak was a career officer in the Egyptian Air Force, serving as its commander from 1972 to 1975. Beginning on January 25, 2011, a popular uprising called for his resignation as president of Egypt. On February 1, 2011, Mubarak announced that he will not seek another term in the upcoming presidential election. His regime has been accused of massive corruption and misgovernance. [Wikipedia. Subject to change by current events.]
Those who oppose Mubarak have designated today as “D-Day. Departure day for Hosni Mubarak to leave office and Egypt.” For several days now the main square in Cairo and other cities have been full of peaceful protesters who are fed up with their corrupt, repressive government that gave them no human rights or economic opportunities. Most Egyptians live on $2 a day. Sixty percent of the population is under 30 years of age. Such is grist for the mill of revolution in the 21st century with its ubiquitous mass communications. (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) During the current struggle for democratic freedom, President Mubarak tried to break the people’s spirit by turning off the Internet and cell phone service. The people would not be deterred or silenced. Some have vowed to demonstrate until Mubarak leaves office.
Emergency law rule
Egypt is a semi-presidentialrepublic under Emergency Law (Law No. 162 of 1958) and has been since 1967, except for an 18-month break in 1980s (which ended with the assassination of Sadat). Under the law, police powers are extended, constitutional rights suspended and censorship is legalized. The law sharply circumscribes any non-governmental political activity: street demonstrations, non-approved political organizations, and unregistered financial donations are formally banned. Some 17,000 people are detained under the law, and estimates of political prisoners run as high as 30,000. Under that “state of emergency”, the government has the right to imprison individuals for any period of time, and for virtually no reason, thus keeping them in prisons without trials for any period. The government continues the claim that opposition groups like the Muslim Brotherhood could come into power in Egypt if the current government did not forgo parliamentary elections, confiscate the group’s main financiers’ possessions, and detain group figureheads, actions which are virtually impossible without emergency law and judicial-system independence prevention. Pro-democracy advocates in Egypt argue that this goes against the principles of democracy, which include a citizen’s right to a fair trial and their right to vote for whichever candidate and/or party they deem fit to run their country. [Wikipedia]
Intention to stand down in September 2011
Mass protests against President Hosni Mubarak erupted in Cairo and other Egyptian cities in late January 2011.
On February 1, 2011 Hosni Mubarak announced that he will not contest the Presidential election in September 2011. He also promised constitutional reform. This did not satisfy the majority of protesters as they expected Mubarak to depart immediately. The demonstrations continued and on 2 February 2011, violent clashes occurred between pro-Mubarak and anti-Mubarak protestors. [Wikipedia]
Update: Friday, February 4, 2011, 4:00AM EST. I have just learned that there have been over 43 incidents where the pro-Mubarak forces have assaulted the press, damaged or confiscated their equipment. Some needed hospital care. In an inverview with ABC News that if he resigns today, there will be chaos. I say, that is what the army is there for.
In Tahrir Square we have an amazing calm. There are no goons (pro-Mubarak thugs). There is a fully outfitted riot squad present. A stage with microphones has been erected. We wonder what lies in store. Will there be a gigantic clash? Will the army remain on the side of the people. Earlier I heard that there have been discussions and that perhaps President Mubarak will resign today leaving the Vice President in charge. If this happens, will it be acceptable to the protestors? Will there be enough press coverage so that the world can continue to witness a revolution on live television? Is this a setup for a dramatic crush by the government? Will Mubarak accede to the “suggestions” of the USA and certain arab states and resign today? It is in the Lord’s hands.
One good sign is the announcement that the Egyptian Stock Market will re-open on Monday. The banks will reopen shortly.
Friday, February 4, 2011, 11:00am EST. Night has fallen on Tahrir Square in Cairo. The call for Mubarak to resign has been a huge protest today, but, alas, no conclusion. The rally goes on into the night with the people still being protected by the army. It is said that discussions with interested governments go on but hope of wish fulfillment is small…at least for tonight in Egypt.