A time of storm

Mubarak, in his speech on the seventeenth day of protests, has refused to stand down.

As anticipated. It would be perhaps too optimistic to expect a dictator who has held power for so long to surrender.

Instead a constitutional commission that he has appointed will organise “free and fair” elections in September. Mubarak will make necessary amendments to the constitution to facilitate presidential candidates in the next elections. Mubarak is now a defender of the rights and freedoms of the Egyptians. He says - it is no longer about Mubarak but about Egypt.

In the meantime Robert Mugabe who embarked upon constitutional changes to permit power sharing with the opposition is now, only two years later, backtracking on his promises, Cote d’Ivoire’s ex-president has caused an impasse, refusing to budge.

Mubarak declared tht he will not be told what to do. “The West” is merely a euphemism for “anyone.” Dictators such as Mubarak do not reach such heights by listening to their people. He already knew that he was unpopular, it may be a surprise that it has been articulated on such a scale, he has done what he needs to do to remain president for so long.

The question now is if the people give up and fade into a fearful existence or if the situation descends into a full scale conflict? Is there another option? 

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