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Egypt’s fate may hang on actions of army

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Globe & Mail
Feb 12, 2011

Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s resignation from office has electrified a nation and sent political shock waves throughout the region.

But while many Egyptians and much of the world cheered the strongman’s fall, the question remains: Does Mr. Mubarak’s departure ensure a transition to democracy, or has it left behind a people who will wake up to a military dictatorship?

Late Friday afternoon, the longest-serving modern ruler in the Arab world left his palace in the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis for his equally palatial home in the Sinai resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh. A crowd of several thousand shouted derisively as a pair of military helicopters carrying Mr. Mubarak and his entourage rose into the sky and flew off to the east. “Leave, leave, leave,” the people chanted.

Shortly afterward, Mr. Mubarak’s newly appointed Vice-President, Omar Suleiman, made a brief statement on state television. “In these grave circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave his position as president of the republic,” Mr. Suleiman said. “He has mandated the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to run the state. God is our protector and succour.”

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This article was posted: Saturday, February 12, 2011 at 3:10 am

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