Egypt braces for more mass protests following Mubarak’s speech

Mubarak could not have made a worse speech if he tried last night. Without radical change soon, this situation is ripe for a more aggressive response. Maybe that’s what Mubarak wants, so he can instruct the military to respond with violence. The Egyptian government called for action against a few former ministers who are now being accused of corruption. How convenient that they’re no longer in the government. Al Jazeera:

Hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy protesters are expected to march on the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities on Friday, in what could become the largest – and some fear the most violent – protests thus far.

The demonstrators’ hopes for the resignation of the President were dashed on Thursday as Hosni Mubarak, in a 17-minute address on television, said he was determined to stay in power until September, when his current term ends.

Mubarak said he was handing “the functions of the president” to Vice-President Omar Suleiman and that he would oversee an “exit” from the current crisis, and “realise the demands voiced by the youth and citizens … without undermining the constitution in a manner that ensures the stability of our society”.

Before he finished his anticlimactic speech, protesters camped in Tahrir Square, the epicentre of Egypt’s revolution, shouted “donkey, leave!”

It was encouraging to see Obama comment with strong language and one would assume even stronger messages behind the scenes.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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