Mubarak Declines Re-Election, but Opposition Inclined to Continue

James Phillips /

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced on Tuesday night that he would not run for re-election in September in a last-ditch effort to placate the opposition. Speaking after massive protests paralyzed Cairo and other major cities for the eighth straight day, the embattled president stated: “My first responsibility is providing security to the country to peacefully transition the power in a safe way for Egypt and give the country to those whom Egypt chooses in the coming elections.”

Mubarak’s limited concession is unlikely to satisfy the demands of opposition leaders buoyed by a tidal wave of popular protest. Opposition activists have insisted that they will accept nothing less than Mubarak’s departure and have refused to enter a dialogue or negotiate with Vice President Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s chief lieutenant. Few observers expect that the opposition is likely to give the unpopular president a face-saving exit, let alone bide its time for eight more months. One popular chant of the protesters remains “He will go, we won’t.” (more…)