Egypt's President Resigns

After more than two weeks of angry anti-government protests, Hosni Mubarak leaves office

February 11, 2011

"Egypt is free! Egypt is free!" shouted the jubilant protesters gathered in Midan Tahrir, or Liberation Square, in Cairo. The country's President, Hosni Mubarak, had finally resigned on Friday. It took 18 days of angry protests against his government in cities across Egypt to force Mubarak's resignation. Mubarak left Cairo for Sharm El Sheikh, the Egyptian resort town in the southern Sinai where he spends much of the year.

The night before he resigned, Mubarak appeared on Egyptian TV. Once again, he told Egyptians that he would continue as President until September. He said his Vice President, Omar Suleiman, would guide the transition to a new government. Mubarak's unwillingness to leave office had sent shock waves across Egypt.

But on Friday, Suleiman announced that Mubarak had handed power over to the Egyptian military. "President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from the office of President of the republic and has charged the high council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country," he said.

What's Next for Egypt?

Mubarak ruled Egypt for almost 30 years. Many Egyptians were fed up with his government. The protesters in Liberation Square said the government was corrupt. They complained that unemployment is higher than ever and prices for food, fuel and other goods had skyrocketed.

Now that the military is in charge, many questions remain. Among them: When will reform begin? When will free elections take place? Egypt's Armed Forces Supreme Council, a group of top generals, has promised to guide the country to greater democracy. In a statement before Suleiman's announcement, it said, the military would work for "a peaceful transition" to a democratic government.


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