Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak addressed his country by giving a speech on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011. According to BBC News, “Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has said that he will not stand for re-election in September, as protests against his rule grow. Speaking on state TV, Mr. Mubarak promised constitutional reform, but said he wanted to stay until the end of his current presidential term.”
According to reuters.com, other notable quotes from the speech include:
“I took the initiative of forming a new government with new priorities and duties that respond to the demand of our youth and their mission. I entrusted the vice president with the task of holding dialogue with all the political forces and factions about all the issues that have been raised concerning political and democratic reform and the constitutional and legislative amendments required to realise these legitimate demands and to restore law and order but there are some political forces who have refused this call to dialogue, sticking to their particular agendas without concern for the current delicate circumstances of Egypt and its people.
“I say in all honesty and regardless of the current situation that I did not intend to nominate myself for a new presidential term. I have spent enough years of my life in the service of Egypt and its people.
“I am now absolutely determined to finish my work for the nation in a way that ensures handing over its safe-keeping and banner … preserving its legitimacy and respecting the constitution.
“I will work in the remaining months of my term to take the steps to ensure a peaceful transfer of power.”
How Mubarak’s Move Will Impact the Future of Egyptians
Egyptians say they want democracy and change, so unless this happens, the protests will most likely continue. Mubarak was in power for 30 years and many people do not want someone who will do the same thing to be named as his successor after the elections. The President is not leaving office until September; with that being more than seven months away, people are not just going to stop protesting and go home.
Mubarak’s move is one the Egyptians wanted, but they wanted him to leave now instead of months from now. They only got half of what they have been protesting for. Most people distrust Mubarak, so it seems as though he might just be placating the demonstrators. His move to get rid of his cabinet showed that he is only interested in protecting his job and thought that the move would ease the tensions within the region.
However, people want a change in how things are done in the country and did not care if the cabinet was gone because, in the end, the President is the one who makes the final decisions. Hiring new employees to fill those cabinet spaces will not impact Mubarak’s thinking or decision-making practices for the remainder of his presidential term.
The issue for the short-term future of Egypt is that many people have families and cannot afford to protest for much longer. It has been almost a week since the protests begun, so many people might have to just settle for the fact that Mubarak will be gone in September. Mubarak is trying to bide his time because he knows the protests have to eventually come to an end because people will be poor and have no food. In the long term, unless democracy reigns free in Egypt, the country could face turmoil for years to come.