Anti-government protesters demonstrate in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011. President Hosni Mubarak refused to step down or leave the country and instead handed his powers to his vice president Thursday, remaining president and ensuring regime control over the reform process, which stunned protesters demanding his ouster, who waved their shoes in contempt and shouted, “Leave, leave, leave.”
Demonstrators react as they listen to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s televised speech screened in Tahrir Square in Cairo February 10, 2011. Mubarak provoked rage on Egypt’s streets on Thursday when he said he would hand powers to his deputy but disappointed protesters who had been expecting him to step down altogether after two weeks of unrest.
Anti-government protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square listen as President Hosni Mubarak speaks to the nation February 10, 2011. Mubarak provoked rage on Egypt’s streets on Thursday when he said he would hand powers to his deputy but disappointed protesters who had been expecting him to step down altogether after two weeks of unrest. “Leave! Leave!”
Anti-government protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square wave shoes in dismay as President Hosni Mubarak speaks to the nation February 10, 2011. Protesters also chanted, “down, down with Hosni Mubarak,” and “leave, leave,” in rage at the speech in which the president did not step down but handed over powers to his vice president.
ElBaradei urges army to help protesters
Egyptians are about to “explode” over President Hosni Mubarak’s announcement that he will stay in power, says a leading Egyptian dissident, calling on army to intercede.
Hoping to hear late Thursday that Mubarak would quit, millions of Egyptians were shocked to find instead that Mubarak delegated some of his presidential powers to Vice President Omar Suleiman.
Mohamed ElBaradei warned that “there is no way the Egyptian people right now are ready to accept either Mubarak or his vice president; and my fear right now is this will start violence.”
Unsure about the army’s stance, ElBaradei urged the military to take the side of the Egyptian people, adding that the Egyptians “always thought the army is a protector of people of last resort. If they feel the army is not taking their side… the people will go crazy.”
He urged “the army to come to save the country…Egypt will explode,” adding that “Mubarak’s speech is an act of deception on a grand scale.”
ElBaradei encouraged demonstrators to hold strong to their mass protests until their demands are satisfied.