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World reacts to Mubarak's announcement

By the CNN Wire Staff
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ElBaradei outraged by Mubarak's speech
  • ElBaradei: "This is clearly an act of deception"
  • Moussa: "We have to build on what has been offered today"
  • Obama: "An orderly transition must be meaningful, must be peaceful and it must begin now"
  • Protesters: "Down, down, Mubarak!"

(CNN) -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced Tuesday that he would not stand for re-election during presidential elections scheduled for September, but neither would he step down early. Following are reactions to the news:

Mohamed ElBaradei, opposition leader:

"This is clearly an act of deception. This is a person who doesn't want to let go. You have seen what the city looks like, what the people want. And they continuously try to play tricks. He is unfortunately going to extend the agony here. He continues to polarize the country. He continues to get people to be even more angry. Whoever gave him that advice gave him absolutely the wrong advice. Not at best to be a lame duck person, he's going to be a dead man walking. I don't really understand what is behind that other than a further six, seven months of instability."

Ayman Nour, 2005 presidential candidate:

"It was very depressing. It does not suit the events that are happening in Egypt. The president said he would not run for elections again but that was a given already before he gave the speech. He did not at any point in his speech reject the possibility that his son could run for president. The speech has fired up the crowd and all of the people in Tahrir Square are angrier than ever. I call on all the leaders and intellectuals around the world to call on President Mubarak to step down because he will lead the whole region into destruction, chaos and disaster."

Mohammed Abu Elelaa, deputy chairman of the Pan-Arab Nasseri Party:

"The first of minimum demands that we -- along with other opposition parties -- agreed on today before any dialogue with the current government begins is that the president must resign. After that, we can sit down for talks. People in Tahrir Square and all over the country demand the regime's fall. What he (Mubarak) said misrepresents the truth and justice the protesters are calling for. Staying in power until September is not good enough."

Mohammed Habib, deputy chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood

"The president's speech was more of an attempt to appeal to the emotions of people than anything else. After 30 years during which corruption and diminishing the strategic role of Egypt in the region became the norm, I do not feel it is time to appeal for people's emotion. We should say thank you to him and get out. His reign had positives but was immersed in negative policies, including moving civilians to military courts, using live ammunition and rubber bullets against protesters, and facilitating fraud elections. So far there are 150 martyrs and more than 3,000 injured in the latest protests. Eight million have so far demonstrated against the regime, and we should be proud of that. Even if he resigns and installs Omar Suleiman it may be better than him staying in power. But he did not do that. Why does he want to stay in power for three or four more months! He ruled for 30 years. Give it up and leave it for someone else."

ElBaradei: Mubarak 'a dead man walking'
Mubarak under fire
Mubarak's remarks deceptive?
Obama on Egypt: Change must happen now
  • Egypt
  • Hosni Mubarak
  • Barack Obama

Amre Moussa, secretary-general of the Arab League and former Egyptian foreign minister:

"They want him to step down now, and he decided to step down later, within months, and to step down, to stay in Egypt. I think that all those demands that he should step down now, or he should depart, do not mean that he should leave the country necessarily. We have to build on what has been announced today. I trust that the debate will be very intense but very objective in the next couple of days or so."

Barack Obama, president of the United States

"We have spoken out on behalf of the need for change. After his speech tonight, I spoke directly to President Mubarak. He recognizes that the status quo is not sustainable and that a change must take place. Indeed, all of us who are privileged to serve in positions of political power, do so at the will of our people. ...

"Through thousands of years, Egypt has known many moments of transformation. The voices of the Egyptian people tell us that this is one of those moments. ...

"What is clear and what I indicated tonight to President Mubarak is my belief that an orderly transition must be meaningful, must be peaceful and it must begin now. ...

"The process must include a broad spectrum of Egyptian voices and opposition parties. It should lead to elections that are free and fair, and it should result in a government that is not only grounded in democratic principles but is also responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people."

U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, and chairman of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the State Department and foreign operations:

"President Mubarak's decision to stand down from future leadership of the government is welcome, but his continued role in Egypt's transition is unrealistic. The Egyptian people, long denied the chance to freely and fairly choose their leaders, today are voting with their feet, their courage and their voices. Their overwhelmingly nonviolent and steady show of strength has conveyed confidence and won the empathy of people of goodwill across the globe. They are fed up with one-party rule, a repressive police force and a corrupt and stagnant economy. They have the right, as do all people, to decide who their leaders should be, and the sooner that process begins the better. The current government has no credibility to oversee that process. The United States has much at stake in Egypt's future and in our relationships with the people and the governments throughout the Muslim world. The welcome restraint and professionalism shown by the Egyptian Army so far is a testament to the long relationship between our two countries. But we should do what we can to support a transition to democracy including, if it becomes necessary, withholding aid to the government."

Protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square immediately after the speech:

"Down, down, Mubarak!"

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