Egyptian president pursues risky strategy
Stockholm, Sweden Jan. 31/ Trend U. Sadikhova /
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is using his last trump card in an effort to remain in power despite mass popular protests and calls to implement reform from the White House, Research and Development Department Director at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis Theodore Karasik told Trend. However, the strategy is very risky, he underscored.
"It seems that Mubarak has played his last card, relying solely on his craft. The appointment of former Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman to the post of vice president is an attempt to enlist the support of the intelligence services and, ultimately, the military," he said.
Although the Egyptian government led by Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif completely resigned on Saturday, the population has continued to demand Mubarak's resignation throughout Egypt.
Sources say that over 150 people have died so far in the people's protests demanding political and economic reforms to combat corruption and the 82-year-old leader's resignation.
In his recent address to the nation, Mubarak, who has been in power for 30 years, said he supports the people's free will and right to demonstrate. However, he noted that, in some cases, "the protestors have crossed legal boundaries." Several hundred people took to the streets again on Saturday in Cairo, demanding the president's resignation, RIA Novosti previously reported.
Karasik said Mubarak intends to fight for his post to the end and will resort to all means.
"Mubarak will probably start closing some media outlets, and will release more troops onto the streets in an attempt to pacify the people," he told Trend.
However, the strategy could have risky consequences in the coming days, Karasik stressed.
"The regime will resort to greater force to disperse the protesters and preserve public safety, but one must not forget that this is a very risky strategy," he said.
Meanwhile, the United States, one of the Egypt's closest allies, has called on Mubarak to push full-scale political reforms and to stop using violence against the protestors. European leaders, in turn, advised the president to work to create conditions to hold free and fair elections.
"We urge Mubarak to refuse from violence against the unarmed civilian population and to recognize the people's right to peacefully protest. We urge reform itself, which would lead to the creation of a government with a broad representation," the RBK reported, citing the statement issued by European leaders.