Saturday, February 12, 2011

Egypt rejoices as Mubarak departs, a true people’s revolution victory, now democracy must be allowed to flourish and succeed

Dear All

The Egyptian President has resigned.

For the people of Egypt it is a time of celebration.

Fireworks lit the skies of Cairo and protesters shed tears of joy in Egypt as they celebrated the end of President Hosni Mubarak's 30 years of power.

Hopefully the people will now have the chance of free and fair elections.

The result was not certain but in the end, despite having the Generals on his side; the lower ranks were very much on the side of the people.

Mubarak stepped down as leader on Friday, after 18 days of widespread anti-government demonstrations.

He should have gone sooner; the writing was on the wall for nearly two weeks that this wasn’t just a fad.

The country is now in the hands of the high command of the armed forces, headed by the defence minister.

As I previously blogged the Army needed to take control in order to safeguard the country.

US President Barack Obama called Egypt an inspiration, but said it must now move to civilian and democratic rule.

And he was a bit late in saying that statement, nearly two weeks in fact.

Shortly before the announcement of his resignation, Mubarak left Cairo for the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where he has a residence.

And it is a very nice place popular with tourists.

The anti-government protests that began on 25 January were triggered by widespread unrest in Egypt over unemployment, poverty and corruption.

You could believe that the same thing will happen in Britain at some point in the future.

Mass demos are coming as the Tory led Government rips apart Britain to pay for the failures of the bankers.

And despite the rhetoric, the Tories backed off from taking real action.

The Egyptian President has gone.

The corrupt system that sustained him will be the next target of the people of Egypt.

The Army has a choice do they help usher in a transition to civilian rule via a democratic election or try and hold onto power.

I think they know that the jig is up.

The fall of President Hosni Mubarak's regime is a landmark political event on par with the falling of the Berlin wall.

President Obama described the Egyptian people as an inspiration to the world for carrying out a non-violent revolution, adding:

"Egypt will never be the same again."

And the Americans should be offering assistance now on how to conduct a free and fair electoral process.

Arab leaders in the Middle East and beyond should not sleep easy after the Egyptian uprising, they could be next.

In a country it is not good that extreme wealth and extreme poverty exist side by side.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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