The anti-Mubarak crowds have dominated Egypt’s streets for the last eight days, combining passion with calm restraint. And they have stayed there. Yesterday Mubarak insisted on a phased departure, leading Egypt until the end of his mandate in September, but the people are not having it.
In an interview before the day’s clashes with pro-Mubarak counter-demonstrators, the head of the National Association for Change, George Ishak, said of the president: “This step comes too late: it should have been taken earlier. If he really loves his country, it’s time for him to leave, to let us move on to the next stage. This is the people’s demand. They will never give up—until they get what they are asking for.”
Our journalist interjected: “We heard that Mohamed El Baradei had a meeting with the US ambassador…”
Ishak went on: “No that didn’t happen. Our movement does not depend at all on any foreign power. We are depending on our people and the Egyptian army. That is who we are counting on.”
Also before the clashes, euronews’ Cairo correspondent Mohamed Elhamy spoke to Rashad Bayoumi, of the opposition group the Muslim Brotherhood.
euronews asked: “After President Mubarak’s speech, a lot of protesters rejected what he said. Today, there are many pro-Mubarak demonstrators. What is the solution to the current political crisis?”
Bayoumi said: “The political solution is to have a transition period so that power can be transferred peacefully, according to the Egyptian constitution, moving power to the president of the parliament, and if not to him then to the head of the high court. If not him…”
Here euronews interrupted with: “But there is now a Vice President.”
Bayoumi said: “Who appointed this vice president? Hosni Mubarak. And he has fallen after all the pressure of the demonstrations urging him to step down.”