News / Africa

Analyst: Egypt’s President Mubarak Sees Crisis as 'Manageable'

Anti-government protesters demonstrate in Tahrir, or Liberation Square in Cairo,  February 01, 2011
Anti-government protesters demonstrate in Tahrir, or Liberation Square in Cairo, February 01, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
  • Heba Morayef, a Human Rights Watch researcher, spoke with Clottey

Peter Clottey

An Egyptian-based human rights activist says beleaguered President Hosni Mubarak’s Tuesday night’s speech shows his belief that the ongoing “situation is manageable.”

Heba Morayef, a Human Rights Watch researcher, said the protesters’ message is clear that President Mubarak should step down after serving as the country’s leader for three decades.

“I think the protesters are trying to keep the momentum going to draw in additional protesters to keep the numbers up because, while the numbers remain high and the interest is there, they want to sustain that pressure from that perspective on the government and on the president specifically,” said Morayef.

“Whether or not the president will respond to those demands I think is doubtful, in the short term, as his latest speech has shown. He has rejected the primary demand of resignation, but made an offering of not running in the next election. This does remind one to such an extent of the concession that [former Tunisian President Zine Abidine] Ben Ali made towards protesters’ demands by committing to leave by 2014.”

In his late Tuesday speech, President Mubarak told the nation he will not run for office in the upcoming election scheduled for September. His remarks on state television came after hundreds of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets nationwide in peaceful demonstrations demanding that the embattled president resign.

However, it is unclear if his decision will quell demands from many Egyptian protesters who want to see him leave office right away. After the speech, some demonstrators chanted demands that Mr. Mubarak vacate office immediately. “Leave! Leave!,” they shouted.

In Cairo, throngs of people who had gathered for hours listened to the speech in Tahrir [Liberation] Square - a focal point of the peaceful protests.

Some analysts say President Mubarak wants to “stall” for time in order to consolidate what they described as his shaken grip on power. But, Morayef said the protesters want a transition to new leadership for the country.

“There are enough angry constituencies out there on the square [Tahrir] who have legitimate demands, whether these are socio-economic or political, or who just feel it’s time for a change in leadership,” said Morayef.

“Tahrir, over the last few days, has become a safe space of expression and assembly. It’s not an experience Egyptians ever had before, the fact that they can say whatever they want, they can say it to the media and there is no police around to be scared off; any potential consequences for you and for your family is a new experience, and I think that is not one they are likely to forget very soon.”

Opposition activist Mohamed ElBaradei told U.S. cable news television (CNN) that Mr. Mubarak's decision to remain in power will extend Egypt's “agony” until September’s election. He called the move an "act of deception" from someone who "does not want to let go.”

“His latest speech shows that President Mubarak still feels the situation is manageable, and he feels that, by granting some of the demands by protesters, that will calm down the level of anger and will allow things to continue more or less like they were before,” said Morayef.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid