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

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    Iran Orders Social Media Sites to Store Data Inside Country

    New requirements are expected to affect the instant messaging app Telegram, which has more than 20 million users inside Iran

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora