Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, January 28, 2011

The Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has addressed Egypt on State television. He said that the public rallies are evidence of the freedom of political expression in Egypt. He recognises that the people want improved democracy and suffer in the face of unemployment and poverty. The President says that he is on the side, and will always be on the side, of the poor. He promises "new step" to improve democracy, improve employment and to raise the standard of living.

He sees the arson, lootimg and violence as plots intended to undermine the foundations of Egypt.

Mubarak has dismissed the Government and a new Government will be formed tomorrow.


Apparently, all opposition parties have rejected Mubarak's speech so the "new" Government is likely to be new faces from the ruling National Democratic Party. 


Will that be enough?  Well we will find out overnight and over the next coming days, but the immediate reaction from the protestors is to resume chants of "Down with Mubarak".  I suspect the new Govermnent will have to be radically different and include the opposition parties for it to stand any chance of being acceptable to the populace.

We will also wait to find out whether Zahi Hawass has kept his job.  I am assuming that Farouk Hosny the Minister of Culture has been sacked so maybe Zahi will get promoted to Minsiter of Culture, but he is also senior enough that he might have been sacked as well.  It could prove academic is I doubt the changes have gone far enough to establish ensuring stability,


Anonymous said...

I suppose this may put Hawasse's talk in Manchester next week in doubt now.
It may be as Kate says that Hawass finds himself promoted when the new government is announced on saturday. Or indeed he may find himself disenfranchised as a result of his closeness to the old regime, or he may wish to remain and keep an eye on the safety of his beloved museum or he simply may find that if this continues that there are no flights to the nUk or more likely no flights back. Daveh

tim said...

Certainly Dr. Hawass is one of the most important "tools" in the dictator Mubarak's government especially dealing with international relations.

As Saddam Hussein had his Tariq Aziz so Hosni Mubarak has his Zahi Hawass.

Kate Phizackerley said...

Likening Hawass with Tariq Aziz seems to be hyperbole to me. I suspect though that he might well become Minister of Culture come tomorrow. That could be a huge mistake for him: it's hard to see the new Goverment lasting and anybody who becomes a minister just increases their personal unpopularity.

Anonymous said...

If he is not part of the new government then how can he continue as head of the SCA. My recollection is that when he reached the mandatory retirement age it was only this manouver to make him deputy culture minister that allowed him to retain his position at the SCA. I suspect, being a bit cynical that he hasnt really done anything in line with his promotion other than continue his work at the SCA (and his lucrative private work of course) daveh

Anonymous said...

Mubarrak is in de nile!

Stephanie said...

It`s interesting to see what will happen.
If Hawass really gets a promotion to Minister of Culture I`m sure he will accept. This is his only chance to keep his job as head of SCA.
In case he gets completely sacked we will see if he finds another way around the age issue (far from impossible) or if he has to quit this job, too.

In any case, for us it is only cultural issues but for the Egyptians it is about quality of life and in extreme cases life itself.
I do hope a decent government will be formed to improve living standards.

Kate Phizackerley said...

The Government must go. It's inevitable.


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