Amid conflicting reports of whether Mubarak is stepping down, the world is watching and waiting as history unfolds in Egypt. Egyptian protestors who have been told by the military that there is news coming that will make them happy are celebrating, dancing in the street, wrapping themselves in the Egyptian flag believing that they have won – that the Egyptian Constitution has been trumped by the will of the Egyptian people. Protesters are chanting songs, “We are the people, we are Egypt, we are one!”.
This morning, Fox News is confirming per their sources, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, will step down, “shortly” and will cede power to the Armed Forces. This unprecedented act of a sitting Egyptian president stepping away from his position will call for some constitutional shuffling; thus, Fox is reporting that this transfer of power will happen “outside of the constitutional framework”.
However, there are conflicting reports. The Interior Minister is denying the report that Mubarak is resigning his position. One report from Fox News indicated this was a last gasp clinging by the Ministry of Information; but there are fears that means that Mubarak will not b e stepping aside until a later date. There is speculation that this would not appease the protesters. Regardless, the army has put out the word, that if the protesters fail to accept the terms, the army will “act”.
The protest events over the last 24 hours that have influenced this decision by Mubarak may include the increased intensity of the rhetoric as well as numerous strikes, including the bus service. There is no response at this time from the United States Department. However, President Obama is quoted as saying, “We’re going to have to wait to see what’s going on.”
Fox news reports that a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood is complaining that the military is taking control amid speculation about how the details of a more representative government will emerge. Egypt has not had democratic elections in more than 4000 years.
Dominic Di-Natale reporting live from near Cairo says that what the “chanting” protesters want to hear is that Mubarak is gone and anticipates “jubilation” when Mubarak makes the expected announcement.
Very few details have yet emerged but some of the events leading to this momentous decision by Mubarak include the 17 days of protests.As per a number of notable experts interviewed on Fox, including Aaron Miller, Former adviser to U.S. Secretary of State, questions are flying about what this change will mean to U.S. interests and Israel. Those questions are transcribed below:
- What will the Egyptian reaction be to American efforts to contain Iran?
- Will the Egyptian government cooperate with the United States?
- Will the United States push the new Egyptian government to accept United States guidance?
- Will the new Egyptian government parallel Iran or function similar to Turkey?
- Will this transition to a multi party democracy?
- Will the divisions within the military be able to work together?
- Will the military step up and take full responsibility for the Egyptian economy?