BREAKING NEWS: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has stepped down.
Fox News reports:
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has stepped down and handed control of the country to the military, Vice President Omar Suleiman said Friday in an address on state television.
The announcement touched off a wave of jubilation throughout Cairo’s Tehrir Square, where tens of thousands of anti-government protesters had gathered demanding Mubarak’s ouster hours after he failed to do so in an address on Thursday.
“In these difficult circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave the position of the presidency,” Suleiman said. He has commissioned the armed forces council to direct the issues of the state.”
Mubarak had sought to cling to power, handing some of his authorities to Suleiman while keeping his title. But an explosion of protests Friday rejecting the move appeared to have pushed the military into forcing him out completely. Hundreds of thousands marched throughout the day in cities across the country as soldiers stood by, besieging his palace in Cairo and Alexandria and the state TV building.
Here is a great video clip from Fox Insider — the reaction in Tahrir Square at the moment of the announcement:
The Egyptian military is now in charge. While everything seems great right now, as The Heritage Foundation points out, the country of Egypt has a long way to go:
The Egyptian military faces many challenges: restoring order, cracking down on violence, ensuring that the economy does not collapse, and guiding a political process that will allow time and space for the voices of the Egyptian people to be heard. Egypt’s most pressing need is economic reforms that will improve the livelihoods of its citizens and create a platform that will allow civil society to flourish. If either the Muslim Brotherhood or the country’s “old guard” is permitted to hijack the revolution, the needs and aspirations of the people will never be satisfied, and the country could lapse into an authoritarian state even less desirable than that of the Mubarak regime.
Are you wondering how President Obama heard about President Mubarak stepping down? He heard the news the same way everyone else did… Through television:
Caught up in stunning news like the rest of the world, President Barack Obama was in an Oval Office meeting Friday when he learned of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation. He watched the celebration on television and prepared to make an afternoon statement.
President Obama is scheduled to speak about Mubarak’s resignation at 1:30 PM ET.
Exit Question: Will he take all the credit? Probably not, because his loyal followers are already doing it for him.