After days of protests in major Egyptian cities, President Hosni Mubarak, 82, will not seek another term in September.
On Tuesday, the move was meant to appease the millions of marching demonstrators demanding Mubarak step down.
The President of Egypt’s announcement did little to calm those gathered in Tahrir Square in central Cairo. “No, not good enough. Mubarak must go now!” protestors said.
Protestors are attacking journalists in the wake of ousting Mubarak after he said he would step down later this year. Military personnel are taking journalist into custody as an order to protect them. On Wednesday, CNN reporter Anderson Cooper and his crew were attacked. They are no longer in danger as they escaped with minor cuts and bruises. The attacks on journalist appear pro-government and sympathetic to the protestors.
Attention is now shifting to Friday, when some experts say unsatisfied protestors will begin another significant demonstration to demand the Egyptian military support them in their effort to remove Mubarak from office.
“The military will be the deciding factor in this standoff between Mubarak and the protesters,” said Julie Taylor, a specialist in Egypt at the Rand Corp., an American think tank. “The young people in particular are going to demand that the Army take their side and insist that Mubarak step down.”
President Barack Obama on Tuesday said in a statement that the transition of power in Egypt “must be meaningful, it must be peaceful, and it must begin now.” Though he did not specifically address Mubarak’s plan, he added that he “recognizes that the status quo is not sustainable and that a change must take place.”
Protestors and their demands risked overshadowing what was a remarkable moment on the world political stage, the authoritarian leader of the Arab worlds most populous country bowed down after 30 years in office, thanks to a vocal populous. Along with saying he would not run for re-election, Mubarak called for the constitution to be rewritten to set presidential term limits and to strengthen the authority of law.
The Egypt anti-government protest began January 25. The chaos has injured thousands and claimed the lives of about 300 people.