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Mubarak Steps Down, Egyptians Celebrate
Cairo, Egypt – After a few hours after saying in a statement that he will not step down until the end of his term on September, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak steps down prompting celebration on the streets of Cairo.
Mubarak appeared on national television and said that he will not quit from his post amid protests from all over Egypt. After 13 hours since making the statement, Mubarak decided to finally quit after ruling the country for 30 years. Omar Suleiman, Mubarak’s appointed vice president, was the one who announced the embattled president’s decision to resign from office.
Mubarak and his wife, Suzanne, then left Egypt for exile in a place that is yet to be known. Mubarak has been pressured to step down as protests against him grew stronger and pressure to step down from different countries, including the United States, were also mounting.
Control of Egypt were left to the military and it was yet unclear who will be immediately succeeding Mubarak from his post. An immediate election is more likely to determine the country’s next president. Military officials said that they will ensure an ‘honest’ election for the people of Egypt.
Protesters gathered at Tahrir Square in Cairo, the center for protests against Mubarak, celebrated as they waved their flag while some hugged each other and cried. The protests started on Jan. 25 as many Egyptians went to the streets to voice their dissatisfaction for their president of 30 years.
There were a lot of violence involved as protesters clashed with local police, men walking on the streets armed with bats, chains and guns while some other took advantage of the situation and looted business establishments. According to reports, there were hundreds that were killed during the unrest in the most populated Arab nation.
Many felt relieved after the announcement of the resignation of Mubarak, though the country’s future is still uncertain as questions on who will lead Egypt arose.
Mubarak became Egypt’s fourth president in 1981 replacing Anwar Sadat, who was assassinated. Mubarak himself has survived numerous assassination attempts during his reign and was a known ally of the United States. The people of Egypt though became unhappy of his style of leadership, whom many describe as anti-democracy.