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» 06.03.2013 - Egypt court suspends planned election date
» 25.02.2013 - Opposition to boycott another Egypt election?
» 24.03.2011 - Still double standards in Egypt justice
» 24.03.2011 - How cyber-activism lent savvy to North African protests
» 18.03.2011 - Egyptians split on Saturday's referendum
» 03.03.2011 - Egypt PM Shafiq resigns after protests
» 23.02.2011 - Exodus from Libya; foreigners targeted
» 11.02.2011 - Friday is D-day for Mubarak regime

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Politics | Society

It's over - Mubarak has left

Egypt's Vice-President Omar Suleiman speaking on state TV on 10 February 2011

© Egypt state TV/afrol News
afrol News, 11 February
- Egypt's Vice-President Omar Suleiman in a televised speech just has announced President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down and stay in Sharm-el-Sheikh. The Egyptian revolution has gained its greatest victory so far.

Vice-President Suleiman announced that Mr Mubarak, who has already left Cairo with his family to his holiday house in the Red Sea resort Sharm-el-Sheikh, would transfer presidential powers to the army.

"Mubarak has resigned. He has delegated the responsibility of running the country to the Supreme Military Council." This means that the army will lead the political transition process in Egypt in the coming months.

At central Cairo's Tahrir Square, the large crowds immediately started cheering loudly, dancing of joy and swinging their flags after Mr Suleiman's short announcement.

After the Firday prayers, millions had already gathered in and around Tahrir Square. As it was known that Egyptian state TV would make an "important announcement", there were some expectations, but the crowds had not forgotten their disappointment following yesterday's speech by President Mubarak.

Protesters had held a firm grip of central Cairo for most of the 18 days of popular revolt it took to bring the Mubarak regime down.

The dramatic move came after trade unions and striking workers on Wednesday started supporting the protests. Yesterday, more and more groups had joined the strike and protests, all demanding political change and the resignation of President Mubarak.

Despite President Mubarak's belief he could sit it out, protests therefore only intensified over the last few days, with strikes also threatening to totally paralyse the economy. Today, up to 3 million protesters are reported to be in the streets of Cairo.

The revolution was won by the protesters' dire patience and insistence to keep control of Tahrir Square, and, finally by the workers of Egypt joining the protest by laying down their work.

But many questions now remain open. Protesters at Tahrir Square, while breaking out into loud cheers after the announcement, now want wide-ranging democratic reforms, with a special emphasis on constitutional changes to assure that free and fair elections can be held later this year.

Protests at Tahrir will not stop. In Alexandria, protesters last evening have chanted ""We will accept nothing less than the collapse of the regime!"

The Muslim Brotherhood has already expressed its concern over a possible military coup or dictatorship, and many protesters agree.

"We didn't fight and sacrifice all of this, so as to have the army, which is ruling us from 1952, remains in power," activist Hossam el-Hamalawy reported from Tahrir Square, reacting to the rumour that the army had taken over control in Egypt. This is not the end, but the beginning, he pointed out.

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