Waiting On Mubarak


by Chris Bodenner

BBC's Kim Ghattas reports:

I just spoke to a senior U.S. official, who confirmed that Frank Wisner met President Mubarak and told him he should not seek re-election or put forward his son, Gamal, as his successor. The Americans are now waiting for an answer. However, the official also said that even if Mr Mubarak did not seek re-election, it was no longer enough. My understanding is that although they have not gone back to Mr Mubarak to say he must stand down immediately, they are hoping he has figured that out on his own.

The Guardian's Jack Shenker is in Tahrir Square:

[Shenker] asked people if Mubarak, who is expected to speak any minute, announcing his intention to step down at the next election, in September, would be enough. He said the "overwhelming consensus is that is absolutely not enough."


The chant from Tahrir Square in Cairo as the crowd await President Mubarak's speech on the large-screen TVs which have been set up: "Freedom! May God make it happen! May it be tonight!"

Mackey adds some perspective on the day:

To give American readers an idea of how long Hosni Mubarak has been Egypt's president, consider that he was elevated to that position in 1981, following the assassination of Anwar el-Sadat, which came just six months after President Ronald Reagan was shot by John Hinckley. If Mr. Reagan had been killed in 1981 and his vice president, George H.W. Bush, had taken over as president and remained in office until today, Americans would be in a similar position to Egyptians.

(Photo: Egyptian protestors take part in a demonstration on February 1, 2011 at Cairo's Tahrir Square as massive tides of protesters flooded Cairo for the biggest outpouring of anger yet in their relentless drive to oust President Hosni Mubarak's regime. By Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)