Egypt: Now the Hard Work Begins

President Hosni Mubarak resigns, handing power to the military, which has pledged, in an awkwardly translated circular, to:

First: End the state of emergency as soon as the current circumstances are over.

Decide on the appeals against elections and consequent measures.

Conduct needed legislative amendments and conduct free and fair presidential elections in light of the approved constitutional amendments.

Second: The Armed forces are committed to sponsor the legitimate demands of the people and achieving them by following on the implementation of these procedures in the defined time frames with all accuracy and seriousness and until the peaceful transfer of authority is completed towards a free democratic community that the people aspire to.

But the list of juntas that have successfully transitioned a dictatorship into a democracy is small, if not nonexistent, as is the list of successful grassroots revolutions. America had the Continental Congress; Russia the dissatisfied Politburo. Nonetheless, our thoughts are with the people, and focused on that unlikely but essential long-shot: a free, democratic republic in the world’s oldest continuing nation. Dum spiro spero.


  1. Why didn’t he just let the existing order of succession play out?

  2. Because 1) there wasn’t any, and 2) even if there was, the demonstrators would never have accepted a successor appointed by him.

    Actually, he did try to appoint a vice-president two weeks ago (the first for 30 years), but I don’t think anyone really cared.

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