BREAKING NEWS: Cairo, Egypt: Mubarak Resings & Hands Power Over To Military: UPDATED

11 Feb


AP – Anti-government protesters, and Egyptian soldiers on top of their vehicles, make traditional Muslim Friday …

CAIRO – Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak resigned as president and handed control to the military on Friday after 29 years in power, bowing to a historic 18-day wave of pro-democracy demonstrations by hundreds of thousands. “The people ousted the president,” chanted a crowd of tens of thousands outside his presidential palace in Cairo.

Several hundred thousand protesters massed in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square exploded into joy, cheering and waving Egyptian flags. Fireworks, car horns and celebratory shots in the air were heard around the city of 18 million in joy after Vice President Omar Suleiman made the announcement on national TV just after nightfall.

Mubarak had sought to cling to power, handing some of his authorities to Suleiman while keeping his title. But an explosion of protests Friday rejecting the move appeared to have pushed the military into forcing him out completely. Hundreds of thousands marched throughout the day in cities across the country as soliders stood by, besieging his palace in Cairo and Alexandria and the state TV building. A governor of a southern province was forced to flee to safety in the face of protests there.

It was the biggest day of protests yet in the upheaval that began Jan. 25, growing from youth activists working on the Internet into a mass movement that tapped into widespread discontent with Mubarak’s authoritarian lock on power, corruption, economic woes and widespread disparities between rich and poor.

“In these grave circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave his position as president of the republic,” a grim-looking Suleiman said. “He has mandated the Armed Forces Supreme Council to run the state. God is our protector and succor.”

Nobel Peace laureate Mohammed ElBaradei, whose young suporters were among the organizers of the protest movement, told The Associated Press, “This is the greatest day of my life.”

“The country has been liberated after decades of repression,” he said adding that he expects a “beautiful” transition of power.

Outside Mubarak’s Oruba Palace in northern Cairo, women on balconies ululated with the joyous tongue-trilling used to mark weddings and births.

Click image to see photos of protests, clashes in Egypt

AP/Khalid Mohammed

“Finally we are free,” said Safwan Abo Stat, a 60-year-old in the crowd of protesters at the palace. “From now on anyone who is going to rule will know that these people are great.”

Another, Mohammed el-Masry, weeping with joy, said he had spent the past two weeks in Tahrir before marching to the palace Friday. He was now headed back to the square to join his ecstatic colleagues. “We made it,” he gasped.

The question now turned to how the military, Egypt’s most powerful institution, will handle the transition in power. Earlier in the day, the Armed Forces Supreme Council — a body of top generals — vowed to guide the country to greater democracy.

In a statement hours before Suleiman’s announcement, it said it was committed “to sponsor the legitimate demands of the people and endeavorfor their implementation within a defined timetable … until achieving a peaceful transition all through a democratic society aspired by the people.”

Abdel-Rahman Samir, one of the youth organizers of the protests, said the protest movement would now open negotiations with the military over democratic reform but vowed protests would continue to ensure change is carried out.

“We still don’t have any guarantees yet — if we end the whole situation now the it’s like we haven’t done anything,” he said. “So we need to keep sitting in Tahrir until we get all our demands.”

But, he added, “I feel fantastic. …. I feel like we have worked so hard, we planted a seed for a yera and a half and now we are now finally sowing the fruits.”


October 6th, 1981  – Vice president Hosni Mubarak is thrust into office when Islamists gun down president Anwar Sadat at a military parade. He is approved as president in a referendum in November and re-elected in 1987 and 1993.

June 26th, 1995  – Gunmen attack Mubarak’s car as he arrives at an Organisation of African Unity summit in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa. He is unhurt and returns to Egypt. Mubarak later blames a Sudanese man for the attempt.

November 17th, 1997  – Egypt’s biggest Islamic militant group, al-Gama’a al-Islamiya kill 58 tourists and four Egyptians at an ancient temple near the southern town of Luxor. Six gunmen and three police also die. The state crushed groups including al-Gama’a al-Islamiya and Islamic Jihad, which targeted tourists, Christians, ministers in a 1990s campaign for an Islamic state and kept a tight lid on such groups afterwards.

October 5th, 1999  – Mubarak is sworn in as president for his fourth term and names Atef Obeid as prime minister after the government led by Kamal Ganzouri resigns.

December 22nd, 1999  – Egypt agrees to sell its natural gas through what Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s office calls a “Pipeline of Peace”.

March 2005  – Street protests by the Kefaya (Enough) Movement draw hundreds across Egypt to oppose a fifth term for Mubarak or any attempt to install his son Gamal in his place. Days before, police say they detained about 200 members and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.

May 11th, 2005  – Parliament votes to change the constitution to allow contested presidential elections, dismissing opposition complaints that strict rules would prevent genuine competition. A referendum later in May overwhelmingly confirms the constitutional change.

September 27th, 2005  – Mubarak is sworn in for a fifth consecutive term after winning the first contested presidential election on September 7th. Rival Ayman Nour is the only member of parliament to remain seated during the ceremony, apparently to show his refusal to accept the official vote count.

December 8th, 2005  – The Muslim Brotherhood increases its seats in parliament after an election marred by violence, but Mubarak’s party retains a big majority. Eight people were killed on the last day of voting on December 7th. The Muslim Brotherhood says it has won 12 seats, expanding its parliamentary bloc to 88, nearly a fifth of the seats and its strongest showing ever.

November 19th, 2006  – Mubarak says he will retain his responsibilities for the rest of his life.

June 4th, 2009  – US president Barack Obama in a speech in Cairo calls for a “new beginning” in ties between Washington and the Islamic world.

March 26th, 2010  – Former UN nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei makes first public appearance after his return to Egypt in February. ElBaradei has said he would consider a presidential bid if demands are met, including constitutional changes to limit power.

March 27th, 2010  – Mubarak returns to Egypt to reassume presidential powers after three weeks recovering from gallbladder surgery in Germany.

November 29th, 2010  – The Muslim Brotherhood says a rigged election has all but wiped out its presence in parliament, virtually eliminating opposition to Mubarak’s ruling party before a 2011 presidential vote. The group skirts a ban on religious parties by running independents.

January 25th, 2011  – Anti-government protests across Egypt begin as demonstrators voice anger, complaining of poverty and repression.

January 28th  – Mubarak orders troops and tanks into cities overnight to quell demonstrations across Egypt. The UN later says around 300 people have been killed in the protests.

January 31st  – Egypt swears in a new government. New vice-president Omar Suleiman says Mubarak has asked him to start dialogue with all political forces.

February 1st  – More than one million people around Egypt call for an end to Mubarak’s rule.

February 6th  – Opposition groups, including the banned Muslim Brotherhood, hold talks with the government, chaired by the vice-president.

February 8th  – Suleiman says Egypt has a timetable for the peaceful transfer of power.

February 10th  – Mubarak says national dialogue underway, transfers powers to vice-president but he refuses to leave office immediately as protesters demand.

February 11th  – Mubarak steps down and a military council will run the country’s affairs, vice-president Omar Suleiman says on state television.

Anti-government protests in Egypt Slideshow:Anti-government protests in Egypt

Egypt protesters target palace Play Video Video:Egypt protesters target palace Reuters

Egypt revolt set to flare as Mubarak clings to power Play Video Video:Egypt revolt set to flare as Mubarak clings to power AFP


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