Mubarak resigns, hands power to military, bowing to 18-day wave of democracy protests

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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In this Feb. 8, file photo, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak sits during his meeting with Emirates foreign minister, not pictured, at the Presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt's vice president says Mubarak resigned today as president and handed control to the military. — The Associated Press file photo

CAIRO, Egypt — Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak resigned as president and handed control to the military on Friday after 29 years in power, bowing to a historic 18-day wave of pro-democracy demonstrations by hundreds of thousands. “The people ousted the president,” chanted a crowd of tens of thousands outside his presidential palace in Cairo.

Several hundred thousand protesters massed in Cairo’s central Tahrir Square exploded into joy, waving Egyptian flags, and car horns and celebratory shots in the air were heard around the city of 18 million in joy after Vice-President Omar Suleiman made the announcement on national TV just after nightfall.

Mubarak had sought to cling to power, handing some of his authorities to Suleiman while keeping his title. But an explosion of protests Friday rejecting the move appeared to have pushed the military into forcing him out completely. Hundreds of thousands marched throughout the day in cities across the country as soliders stood by, besieging his palace in Cairo and Alexandria and the state TV building. A governor of a southern province was forced to flee to safety in the face of protests there.

It was the biggest day of protests yet in the upheaval that began Jan. 25, growing from youth activists working on the Internet into a mass movement that tapped into widespread discontent with Mubarak’s authoritarian lock on power, corruption, economic woes and widespread disparities between rich and poor.

“In these grave circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave his position as president of the republic,” a grim-looking Suleiman said. “He has mandated the Armed Forces Supreme Council to run the state. God is our protector and succor.”

Nobel Peace laureate Mohammed ElBaradei, whose young suporters were among the organizers of the protest movement, told The Associated Press, “This is the greatest day of my life.”

“The country has been liberated after decades of repression,” he said adding that he expects a “beautiful” transition of power.

Mary Bluechardt

Organizations: Armed Forces Supreme Council, The Associated Press

Geographic location: CAIRO, Egypt, Tahrir Square Alexandria

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Recent comments

  • Political Watcher
    February 11, 2011 - 19:31

    Now they should investigate how he managed to amass a $70 Billion dollar fortune.

  • Frank Blackwood
    February 11, 2011 - 12:18

    Now people can get on with their lives. However, there will always be his supporters who will have to be weaned out of the system as well. Egypt is a great cvountry and I am happy the people will have justice. The President put up quite a fight. He is no doubt leaving with a big puffy purse with funds hidden somewhere? he's had lots of time to place his loot.

    • Blue Moon
      February 11, 2011 - 14:07

      Finally he is gone. I am sure he has done everything in his power to fatten his already bloated bank accounts. I guess he can retire into the luxurious lifestyle that he is all too used to. I hope the Egyptian people get their wish for democracy and will have a parliment up and running in the near future.