Contextual Content

Egyptians React to Army’s Statement

Story Transcript

NAZLY HUSSEIN, EGYPTIAN PROTESTER: I’m very uncertain about things, about how things are going to unfold. And the army came out with a statement this morning saying they guarantee the promises made by the president last night and his vice president.

KHALED FAHMY, HISTORY DEPT., AMERICAN UNIVERSITY IN CAIRO: The statement, it came out, the very first line saying that the state of emergency will be lifted as soon as these events are over. This is still falling short of our demands that this state of emergency be lifted immediately, but it’s an acknowledgement. The statement also referred to the legitimate needs of the people. It also made a pledge that it will not arrest those who have been standing up against corruption. So that’s a reassuring sign. And it did not basically issue an ultimatum, which is what we were fearing today, for people to go back home. And it did not refer to Mubarak by name.

HUSSEIN: I don’t think many people are going to accept that as enough. People have demands that still haven’t been met, and they’re going to continue to protest until they are met and until the entire system is brought down and changed. The army’s the only institution that people still have some trust in. Right now, if people defy that, it’s an indication that they no longer trust even the army, or that they are going to challenge the army’s decision.

FAHMY: I think people are enraged by Mubarak’s speech, they’re enraged by Omar Suleiman’s speech yesterday. I think the army is speaking with another voice. This statement is obviously drafted by other people with another take on the reality. So it’s too early to know whether it has resonated with the people. They did not issue an ultimatum for people to go back home. They acknowledged the legitimacy of the demands of the people. They are basically saying, as far as the procedures go, that now [that] the president has delegated his powers to the vice president, the constitutional amendments will take place and Mubarak will disappear from the scene. Omar Suleiman is basically a caretaking president. The president is still the president as far as the Constitution is concerned. The constitutional amendments will be drafted. In order to be enacted, the president, not the delegated vice president, has to implement them, has to pass them on to Parliament.

HUSSEIN: So a lot of people have been camped outside the palace overnight. Most of the people are saying they don’t accept the changes that have been made and the promises that have been made, that they need the army either to be on their side or that they’re choosing the government’s side.

End of Transcript

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