Friday, 11 February 2011

A Historic Day for Egypt - Mubarak Resigns

Hosni Mubarak has gone!

I'm now thankful that a trapped nerve in my back has laid me low today because I've happened to have been watching BBC News 24 as Vice President Suleiman announced that President Hosni Mubarak has resigned.

Deposed Egyptian President - Mr Hosni Mubarak
Incredible scenes of jubilation from Tahir Square have followed on what is day 18 of the uprising. It seemed that Mubarak would stubbornly keep going after his announcement last night that he would not stand down. Indeed as the days turned into weeks, Mubarak continued to shield himself by sacking his cabinet and then by appointing a new Vice President. He wouldn't remove himself from office after 30 years in charge.

But now, he's gone. It's a historic day for Egypt. People power and public pressure has won through and now they have achieved their main goal. They wanted an end to authoritarian rule and they have made a great stride forward.

What next?
Mohamed ElBaradei -
Egypt's next President?
I wrote here last week about the situation and asked what happens next if Mubarak were in fact to go. Well, the High Council of the Armed Forces are now in charge - a military coup almost. But this army has been conscripted and has kept its close ties with the population over the last few weeks. They have the general support of the populace who will see their intervention now as a positive step forward.

Will this lead to wholly free and fair elections and a democratic Egypt? Prominent opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said today on hearing the news:

'This is the greatest day of my life. The country has been liberated'.

Will he seek to stand for President? Time will tell. How will the Muslim Brotherhood fare in democratic elections? Will they or a more secular alternative benefit?

These are pertinent questions, but questions for tomorrow.

For today, we must sit back and truly take in what is a remarkable day in the history of a nation and indeed for the the Arab world.

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