What next for Egypt?

Analysts, politicians and pro-democracy campaigners outline how they see the future of Egypt developing post-Mubarak.

    People celebrating in Tahrir Square after the announcement that Mubarak had stepped down [Reuters]

    After 18 days of persistent protests calling for his resignation, Hosni Mubarak has stepped down as Egypt's president following three decades in power.

    For an interim period, power has been handed over to the armed forces. Below, commentators, politicians and pro-democracy campaigners outline how they see the future of the country developing. 

    Mohamed ElBaradei, Egyptian opposition figure

    "What I have been proposing is a transitional period of one year. We will have a provisional constitution. We'll have a transitional government, hopefully a presidential council, including a person from the army and a couple of civilians.

    "The main idea is that the army and the Egyptian people will work together in a systematic way for a year to reach the point where we can hold a genuine free and fair election, a parliamentary election and a presidential election. I think the people of Egypt, who have been suppressed for at least 30 years, are ready to wait for a year as they see things are going in the right direction."

    Ayman Nour, former presidential candidate, Al Ghad party

    "From today, we are going to meet with the National Society for Change to arrive at a final conclusion whereby we can shape and define our demands.

    "We want a civil state. We are going to agree on the shape and format of the transitional period of the coming few months. where the landscape of Egypt will change, through reforms, political and economical, whereby we can end by a civil state, free elections for people to chose who will represent them ... We can endure a transitional period for six to nine months, even a year.

    "We have been waiting for years, years of struggle against this tyranny."

    Adhaf Soueif, Egyptian writer and political commentator

    "I imagine that we are going to want to put in place a civilian council that will put in place a civilian technocratic non-political government which will run the country while a constitution is being fixed so that it can serve its purpose of delivering free and fair democratic elections and then that should happen within six months within six months.

    "The military has said it will guarantee this process. Obviously the details will have to be worked out but I think the last two weeks have been a crash-course and people have found such join and pleasure in it that the process will be quite smooth." 

    Catherine Ashton, EU foreign policy chief

    "The critical thing for the EU now is to offer our support, to help in this process. It needs to be a process that people can believe in and the people of Egypt need to feel that there's a transition under way and that the people of Europe will be there to help them. We have a lot of experience and we will put resources behind that.

    "We're keen to put that at the disposal. It's for the Egyptian people to decide their future but we're willing to help. 

    "We'll be looking to see whether we can support them in the election process, to help them not only to monitor the elections but also get ready for the elections, to look at whether we can support them in other ways, to build civil society, all the different elements to really build what I call deep democracy."

    Hossam El Hamalawy, pro-democracy campaigner

    "This is only the beginning. We have a list of demands and the battle is not over yet. We got rid of Mubarak but now it's time to get rid of the Mubarak dictatorship."

    Ali Abdel Wahab, pro-democracy campaigner

    "People are ushering in a new era for Egypt. What happens next much depends on how the military handles things from now on.

    "What most expect is an interim government and not solely to be ruled by the military council because that would be just taking us back to the era of this horrendous regime that has rule the country not for 30 years but for 60.

    "I think all of us have to be involved in creating democratic institutions and a powerful civil society assuring that freedom of expression becomes a trademark of the future Egypt."

    Barack Obama, US president

    "The people of Egypt have spoken. Their voices have been heard - and Egypt will never be the same. By stepping down, President Mubarak responded to the Egyptian peoples' hunger for change.

    "Egyptians have made it clear that nothing less than genuine democracy will carry the day. The armed forces will now have to ensure a political transition that is credible in the eyes of the Egyptian people."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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