Saturday, February 5, 2011

Egypt: resignation of the leadership of Mubarak, positive step by the U.S.

The executive board of the party of President Hosni Mubarak resigned Saturday, a step "positive" according to Washington towards a democratic transition in countries experiencing a popular protest showing no sign of abating.
"The executive committee members resigned from their positions," he announced late in the day the Egyptian state television. Washington immediately called the resignations of "positive step towards political change necessary", adding: "We expect the extra mile."
"As president of the National Democratic Party (NDP), President Hosni Mubarak has decided to appoint Hossam Badrawi secretary general of the party," said the chain, spreading rumors about the resignation of the rais of the head of his party.
The president's son, Gamal Mubarak, was ousted as president of the NDP's policy committee, in favor of Mr. Badrawi also known to have good relations with the opposition.
Gamal Mubarak, 47, was until recently considered by many as the potential successor to his father, in power since 1981.
Washington had Friday called Mubarak to fade as quickly as possible.
The personal envoy of President Barack Obama to Egypt Frank Wisner, said Saturday that he had in hand "to remain in place to (the) changes in work", remarks that stood out the United States.
These remarks Nos. engage him, not the U.S. government, "said the administration of President Obama.
Tahrir Square, emblem of the anti-government protest in downtown Cairo, thousands of protesters still demanded the immediate departure Saturday night of President Mubarak.
The resignation of the leadership of the ruling party "is like cards that are thrown on the table to please the street," said Mahmoud Momen, a businessman of 46 years.
"The pillars of the regime collapse, meaning that the youth revolution has caused a major earthquake," said his side Farid Ismail, a prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Mr Mubarak has shown no sign of willingness to resign: he gathered Saturday Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik, who had ruled the day before a transition between Mr. Mubarak and Vice-President Omar Suleiman, and the Minister of oil, the head of the Central Bank and the Minister of Finance.
This is the first time he was sacking since January 29 of the previous cabinet under pressure from the street.
For the leader of the opposition movement Kefaya, George Ishaq, the meeting "is proof that he (Mubarak) clings to his position and wants to show the people that he is still there."
However, abroad, the press reported on several scenarios to ensure a dignified exit for Mr Mubarak.
The New York Times, Mr. Suleiman and army chiefs discuss assumptions to limit the authority of Mr Mubarak.
It could be suggested to go to rais his residence in Sharm el-Sheikh, or go for one of these regular annual medical treatments in Germany, which this time would be prolonged. Mr. Suleiman would then form a transitional government and launch a dialogue with the opposition to reform.
In an interview with Der Spiegel, a spokesman for the opposition Muslim Brotherhood influence, Rashad Bayoumi, said his group does not want the challenge "is presented as an Islamic revolution."
"This is an uprising of the Egyptian people," he said after a call from the Iranian leader, Ali Khamenei, to an Islamic regime in Egypt.
For its part, the most prominent opponent, Mohamed ElBaradei, who as head of the Arab League Amr Moussa has not ruled out coming to the estate of Mr. Mubarak, wished to discuss with the staff to organize "a transition without bloodshed."
Russia has sought, through its embassy in Cairo, ElBaradei to seek "a crisis", according to a Russian diplomatic source.
Since Thursday, events take place peacefully. Clashes between police and antigovernment demonstrators in the early days of the dispute between militants and pro-and anti-Mubarak on Wednesday had about 300 dead and thousands injured, according to the UN, a report not confirmed by other sources.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised the "restraint" of the Egyptian authorities on Friday. But she also warned that progress towards democracy in the Middle East, she has sustained, showed "risk of chaos."
Given the unstable situation, the Cairo Stock Exchange, closed since Jan. 30, will not reopen Monday as planned, but according to official media, the courts resumed operations Sunday.
A gas terminal supplying Jordan and Israel on a section, was the target of an attack with explosives in the Sinai, but it was not immediately clear if the sabotage was linked to the uprising.
Fire, causing still unclear, hit a church in Rafah, also in the Sinai.
Moreover, the Qatari satellite channel Al-Jazeera has announced the release of the director's office in Cairo and one of its journalists.

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