We wanted the president to step down but, for now, we accept this arrangement as long as we feel there is a serious implementation.Muslim Brotherhood senior leader Mohamed Saad El-Katatni • Revealing comfort with allowing Hosni Mubarak to stay in power of Egypt during a transition period. He said this after sitting down at a giant table with Vice President Omar Suleiman and other opposition leaders. The Muslim Brotherhood, currently barred from running in elections, joined the opposition late, eventually saying it shared their goals. source (via • follow)
» Update: There are conflicting reports on whether he actually stepped down from his party or not. We’ll keep you posted when we learn more.
I am participating in the protests and I have issued statements that support the revolutionists as far as they go.Al Azhar spokesman Mohamed Rafah Tahtawy • Explaining that he’s taking part in the Egypt protests, rather than continuing at their state-sponsored job. Al-Azhar, a Sunni Muslim educational institution, is the largest state-tied religious institution, so it’s a notable switching of sides. But he’s not the only one: Amr Moussa, the Arab League’s secretary-general and a former Mubarak staffer, was also in the crowd. Signs of fracturing support for Hosni Mubarak are notable since today’s protest is intended to push him out of office. source (via • follow)
» But he doesn’t wanna go: In his interview with Christiane Amanpour today, he said this key phrase to Obama regarding his possible exit: “You don’t understand the Egyptian culture and what would happen if I step down now.” Does it matter that this his how he feels? If Mubarak were to leave, his newly-appointed vice president, Omar Suleiman, would likely take over.
» A long fall in a few days: With just a few days, Gamal Mubarak went from Egypt’s leader-in-waiting to reportedly leaving to the United Kingdom with 100 pieces of luggage to a $14.3 million mansion. We’re pretty sure that it’s the longest fall from grace involving a mansion, ever.
The demonstrations I saw yesterday looked like they were orchestrated. If these people were really pro-Mubarak where on earth have they been the past week? People on the streets were saying these demonstrators were hired by the NDP (ruling party).PR professional Mayan Fawaz • Throwing suspicion at a number of pro-Mubarak supporters (tens of thousands, roughly) that first showed up yesterday not long after the Egyptian president made his speech. The counter-protesters broke through human chains set up by the protesters. They held up signs and chanted things of their own. They got into fistfights with the protesters. People got injured. Are they real? Or is Fawaz right? source (via • follow)
I was angry, but now I am enraged. … Only one thing will make the anger go away: His immediate withdrawal. He must leave. That is the only thing that will make these people go back to their homes.Egyptian protester Abdullah Rawaq • Expressing anger about President Hosni Mubarak’s speech today, where he revealed he would not run for re-election this year – which was far less than protesters were hoping for. People were chanting such things as “He must go! We will not go!” and “Get out! Get out!” And in case he’s wondering whether he’s going to get away from today’s protests scot-free, now’s a good time to note that more huge protests are scheduled for Friday. The hard part about all this, of course, is not starting the protests, but keeping them going. Will the huge crowds return on Friday? source (via • follow)
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An orderly transition must be meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must begin now.President Obama • Speaking tonight about Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s plan to not run for re-election this year, a decision that his administration pushed – to the point where a diplomat reportedly came to visit Mubarak in Egypt. Obama also had this to say about the country’s forthcoming election process: ”Furthermore, the process must include a broad spectrum of Egyptian voices and opposition parties. It should lead to elections that are free and fair. And it should result in a government that’s not only grounded in democratic principles but is also responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people.” A little clearer than he has been recently regarding Egypt, but our boy’s still speaking in code a little. Criticize the guy if you mean to criticize him! source (via • follow)
Maintaining the stability that has lasted in Egypt for the past 30 years is a goal of highest importance for Israel on the regional level. The Egyptian army, which is faithful to Mubarak, is an anchor and thus the army’s leaders bear the responsibility for continued stability.Israeli Knesset minister Shaul Mofaz • Relating the Israeli perspective on the turmoil taking place in Egypt. Mofaz is the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and had a lot to say. In his eyes, it’s best for Israel if Mubarek survives the protests and holds elections in September, which is possible as “the protesters lack an organized leadership.” He also spoke to Iran’s perspective on the conflict, saying that Iranian leaders are “watching the events in Egypt with enjoyment,” in hopes that the Muslim Brotherhood takes over. High stakes be damned, Mofaz ultimately stated that Israel should not get involved. source (via • follow)
Although preparations I believe are being made by the top brass for a – in quotes – ‘respectable stepping down’ or ‘stepping aside’ of Mr. Mubarak, the military are aware that… this is a time for change. But I think they are also trying to protect themselves, and want to be very much part of the transition process.Chatham House Middle East and North Africa specialist Maha Azzam • Discussing the military’s role in the Egyptian protests. While Hosni Mubarak holds onto power, it’s a very tenuous hold and one that could completely fall apart in the days to come, and the country’s powerful military is in a position best-suited to ensure the kind of leader that they want. Azzam also notes that while the lower rungs of the military appear to support the protesters, it’s not that way throughout the power structure. “In the upper echelons of the military,” he says, “we’re seeing continued support for the regime.” source (via • follow)
I think this is a hopeless, desperate attempt by Mubarak to stay in power. I think it is loud and clear from everybody in Egypt that Mubarak has to leave today, and it is non-negotiable for every Egyptian.Mohamed ElBaradei • Speaking on CNN’s ”Fareed Zakaria GPS” about the situation in Egypt. The Nobel Peace Prize winner, who has also been the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog, has also offered to lead on a temporary basis if the Egyptian people want him to serve. source (via • follow)