The Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak is to make an address on national television, leading to speculation he will announce his resignation as president. This dramatic development followed a meeting of the Military High Council early in the day that was broadcast on television.
February 10, 2011 - 1530 DST
The Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak is to make an address on national television, leading to speculation he will announce his resignation as president. This dramatic development followed a meeting of the Military High Council early in the day that was broadcast on television. The military issued an official statement after the meeting chaired by Defence Minister, Field Marshal Muhamed Hussein Tantawi, saying the military will "support the legitimate demands of the people."
At the same time, Hossan Badrawi, the ruling National Democratic Party's new secretary general also issued a statement saying he hoped Mubarak will transfer power to Vice-President Omar Suleiman.
Speculation about Mubarak's anticipated resignation has electrified the pro-democracy and pro-dignity movement that has now spread to other sectors of society such as textile, steel and health workers. It is the 17th day of the protests against Mubarak and while his officials have continued to parrot the line his sudden departure will lead to chaos, the fact is the people do not want him anymore. It is his continued clinging to power that is the source of all chaos.
The Military Higher Council's statement (reproduced below) was also a reply to Suleiman's threat that unless the protesters entered into a dialogue with the regime, it would lead to a coup. But the regime has shown no seriousness in entering into meaningful dialogue, only attempting to drag the negotiations without ceding any ground.
State TV also reported Mubarak was in his office, holding talks with his deputy. Meanwhile, Essam al-Erian, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood said he feared that the Egyptian military was staging a coup. "It looks like a military coup ... I feel worry and anxiety," he told told Reuters news agency. "The problem is not with the president it is with the regime."
But Egyptian Information Minister Anas el-Fekky told Reuters news agency: "The president is still in power and he is not stepping down. The president is not stepping down and everything you heard in the media is a rumour."
"Stemming from the armed forces' responsibility and committing to the protection of the people, safeguarding their interest and security, and keen on the safety of the homeland, the citizens and the achievements of the great Egyptian people, and asserting the legitimate rights of the people,
The Higher Council of the Armed Forces convened today, Thursday, 10 February 2011, to deliberate on the latest developments of the situation and decided to remain in continuous session to discuss what measures and arrangements could be taken to safeguard the homeland and its achievements, and the aspirations of the great Egyptian people.
Peace, mercy and the blessings of God."