Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Mubarak Says He Won't Run For Re-election

Mubarak came to power after a military coup against Sadat and the military is expected to attempt to force him from office in short order

Cairo - When the estimated one million people gathered in and around Cairo's Tahrir Square and throughout the port cities of Suez and Alexandria heard President Hosni Mubarak begin to speak, they instantly began to jeer and call for his immediate ouster.

The career Air Force officer first appointed Vice President by Anwar Sadat announced he is not seeking re-election to another term.

He said he will use the remainder of his term to oversee the transition of power.

On this note, the crowd began to boo and catcall.

His first two proposals dealt with persuading Parliament to amend Article 76 of the Constitution, a provision that severely narrows the field of candidates for the office, and Article 77, a legal loophole that allows unlimited terms as President.

The loud and vocal protests became even more pronounced when the huge gathering heard these words.

Mr. Mubarak came to the office in 1981 after a group of radical military officers passing the reviewing stand during a parade opened fire with automatic weapons, mowing down Mr. Sadat and most of his cabinet.

He has ruled with an iron hand during the ensuing 30 years, ruthlessly suppressing any dissent or opposition to the nation's military political structure.

He graduated from the Egyptian military academy in 1949 and entered the Air Force, then went to the Soviet Union during the 50's to learn the full details of Ilyushin aircraft imported from the Communist nation during the Nasser Administration.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Mr. Mubarak has become increasingly allied with U.S. interests in protecting Israel and Saudi Arabia from aggression from more radical and fundamentalist Islamic republics in the region. The U.S. budgets about $1.3 billion in military aid for Egyptian armed forces each year.

President Jimmy Carter first brokered a peace treaty between the United Arab Republic and Israel, an on-again, off again arrangement that has resulted in some degree of normalcy in spite of constant agitation by Palestinian, Jordanian, Iraqi, Iranian and Afghan states. The Gulf Cooperative Coalition has rejected the UAR for membership in the cartel, as well as Yemen.

Economists and political scientists are watching with interest to see if any new coalition between these interests arises, or if the arrangement goes the other direction, with Egyptian forces aligning against the petroleum-rich Arabians and Gulf Emirates and the Israelis.

His enthusiastic support of the U.S. war on terror has bolstered a balance of power boosted by an American present that rings the entire mideast with military installations and fleets of warships.

Foreign correspondents have emphasized repeatedly during the day that the average Egyptian citizen has lived in total fear and foreboding of anything that has anything to do with political power in this nation since the coup de etat that began the Mubarak administration.

The sudden outpouring of fervent cries for freedom are a heady mixture for people so long oppressed.

It is unclear if the Parliament will pay any attention to Mr. Mubarak's ministrations of if he will be allowed to finish his term of office as he announced he will.

Most experts predict that the Egyptian military will likely attempt to force him from office within a relatively short time.

No one is betting that the people will accept or be satisfied with further military rule in this nation.

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