The American Kafir

2011/02/10

Mubarak Stepping Down?

Filed under: Egypt — Tags: , — - @ 2:05 pm
Mubarak's Resignation Imminent?

KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Image
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo on Feb. 8
Conflicting statements out of Cairo on Feb. 10 suggest that a struggle is under way between the Egyptian military and civilian elite over Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s political exit.

Based on the initial reports, Egyptian Prime Minister and former air force chief Ahmed Shafiq announced to BBC Arabic that discussions are under way for Mubarak to step down. Shortly thereafter, ruling National Democratic Party head Hossam Badrawi said Mubarak would likely speak to protesters Feb. 10 and would hopefully announce that power would be transferred to Vice President Omar Suleiman. Another report quoted him as saying that Mubarak would step down by Feb. 11, when another mass demonstration, dubbed the “Day of Confrontation,” was expected to take place to demand Mubarak’s immediate resignation. Gen. Hassan al-Roueini, the military commander for the Cairo area, reportedly told protesters in Tahrir Square, “All your demands will be met today.”

Then, Shafiq reportedly made a statement saying that Mubarak will in fact stay in his post as president and that Mubarak has not made a decision to step down.

The Supreme Council of Egyptian Armed Forces reportedly met Feb. 10 to work out the details of the political transition. Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi reportedly chaired that meeting of 10-15 senior military officers. Mubarak was notably absent, as was Shafiq. Armed Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen Sami Annan would have likely been present at such a meeting, but an Al Arabiya report said Annan has traveled with Mubarak to Mubarak’s Sharm el-Sheikh resort. Annan could be escorting him to ensure he stays under the army’s control.

Curiously, no statements from Suleiman have been issued Feb. 10, even though Suleiman assumed de facto leadership of the regime Jan. 29.

The details are still extremely murky, but based on the conflicting statements thus far and rumors that have been circulating over the past several days of the army’s distrust of Suleiman as a successor to Mubarak, there appears to be a struggle under way within the regime elite, specifically between serving officers and former officers who have maintained close ties with Mubarak, such as Shafiq and Suleiman. The situation remains in flux, but the army appears ready to intervene in order to usher Mubarak out.

Source: Stratfor

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