Mubarak Will Not Seek Another Term, After Nudge From Obama
February 1, 2011
(ChattahBox World News)—In dramatic fashion, with thousands of protesters in the streets demanding his removal, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced in a late night televised address that he would not be seeking another term in office. The beleaguered leader will instead, stay in office until the presidential elections in September. Mubarak’s announcement came after days of virulent protests and a special envoy from the White House delivered a message from President Obama urging him not to seek re-election. How this will play out in the coming days is anyone’s guess. The thousands of Egyptians protesting in the streets shouting for Mubarak to leave now may very well force Mubarak’s hand. But during his speech, Mubarak said he would not leave his homeland and would “die on its soil.”
Obama’s message to Mubarak was delivered by Frank Wisner, a veteran envoy recommended by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The message stopped short of suggesting that Mubarak immediately step down, but made it clear that Mubarak’s time was up.
“The message was delivered by Frank G. Wisner, a seasoned envoy with deep ties to Egypt, the American diplomats said. Mr. Wisner’s message, they said, was not a blunt demand for Mr. Mubarak to step aside now, but rather firm counsel that he should make way for a reform process that would culminate in free and fair elections in September to elect a new Egyptian leader.”
“This back channel message, authorized directly by Mr. Obama, appeared to tip the administration beyond the delicate balancing act it has performed in the last week — resisting calls for Mr. Mubarak to step down, even as it has called for an “orderly transition” to a more politically open Egypt.”
Mubarak acknowledged during his remarks that he was ready to retire in September, adding that even before the mass protests he had not planned to seek another term. But at the same time, he sounded defiant.
‘”I have spent enough time serving Egypt,” Mubarak said in his second public address since the protests erupted. He said that over the next few months “remaining of my current reign, I will work very hard to carry out all the necessary measures to transfer power.”‘
‘”Egyptian elections are slated for September. “In all sincerity, regardless of circumstances, I never intended to be a candidate for another term,” Mubarak said as demonstrators sitting on the ground in Cairo’s Tahrir Square watched the speech on a giant TV screen hung between lampposts.”‘
“Mubarak said, “I have initiated the formation of a new government with new priorities and initiatives which will respond to our young people’s demands and their anxieties.”‘
We shall see.
Meanwhile. the most vocal opposition leader, Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel peace prize winner, is demanding that Mubarak resign from office immediately. ElBaradei told CNN, that if Mubarak fails to leave office now, he would be “not only a lame duck president but a dead man walking.”
Photo Source: White House photo by Eric Draper