Hundreds of thousands of people are pouring into Tahrir square, dubbed Liberation Square, in anticipation of an announcement by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, according to a live stream from Al Jazeera. What the president will announce remains unknown. However, activists are sure Mubarak will resign. After that, the future of Egypt is in the hands of powers far higher than the people demanding freedom and democracy.
Protesters pour into Tahrir square, dubbed “Liberation Square”
One possibility is Mubarak will transfer power to the vice president, Omar Suleiman, as the constitution requires. Others think power will transfer to the military in preparation for a complete regime change. In the latter event, concerns about a “soft coup”, in which the military seizes power and refuses to relinquish it, remain a concern. However, merely handing power to a Mubarak crony such as Suleiman, is not an acceptable solution.
Some activists are calling for the arrest of Hosni Mubarak, Vice President Suleiman and others in the Mubarak cabinet on corruption and possible murder charges.
Likely, the worst outcome possible would be an Article 139 transfer of power under the Egyptian constitution, where Mubarak designates a person to assume power without officially stepping down. Activists say they will be happy with nothing short of regime change. They are demanding a one year period to rewrite the constitution in which they would place provisions which prevent any leader from assuming power for 30 years, as has happened with Hosni Mubarak.