U.S. President, Barack Obama, spoke to Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, today, urging the beleaguered leader to step down. Mubarak then took to the airwaves, announcing to his people that he will not run for re-election in September, ending his 30-year reign. ”A leading reformist figure, retired diplomat Mohammed ElBaradei, was quoted by CNN calling Mubarak’s move a trick,” Reuters reports. Mubarak told the Egyptian people in his televised statement, “I say in all honesty and regardless of the current situation that I did not intend to nominate myself for a new presidential term.”
Not surprisingly, protesters are skeptical of Mubarak’s plans. One citizen told reporters, “The speech is useless and only inflames our anger. If Mubarak was not going to run for a sixth term, why did he not say it before? Why does he leave the people hanging? We will continue to protest.” Another protester said, “If Egyptians stay on the streets till Friday, probably Mubarak’s next offer will be to step down right away.”
Reuters notes that the protestors include “men, women and children from all walks of life,” such as this 8-year-old girl named Juju, who has gained notoriety with a viral video in which she tells Mubarak that his police officers have discarded their uniforms in order to join the populist movement. Watch:
Despite Mubarak’s announcement, it seems clear that the Egyptian revolution is far from over. The world remains transfixed on the incredible transformation taking place in the Middle East.