Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said the number of people who demonstrated against his regime during the "January 25 Revolution" was smaller than the number of citizens currently protesting all across the country against Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, the Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper reported Tuesday.
Mubarak is serving a life sentence in a Cairo prison for complicity in the deaths of protesters during the 2011 revolt that led to his ouster. He is awaiting the opening of his retrial.
"Knowledgeable" sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that Mubarak told his two sons Gamal and Alaa that he had left office because he decided to heed the will of the people and wanted to protect the lives of Egypt's citizens.
According to the sources, the former Egyptian leader's mood has improved as of late and he enjoys watching television shows that claim he was a better leader than the struggling Morsi.
Former Egyptian prime minister Ahmed Shafik said the reign of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the political home of Morsi, will end within a week.
Shafik, whom Morsi narrowly beat in a presidential run-off vote last year, also did not rule out seeking the presidency once again.
Video courtesy of jn1.tv
He was speaking before Egypt's armed forces issued a virtual ultimatum to Morsi by calling on the nation's feuding opposition to agree on a roadmap for the country's future within 48 hours.
"We are going through a stage, which we knew we'd inevitably have to go through. It is not strange. The failure of the Brotherhood cannot be withstood and has led to catastrophes of all kinds and it was completely expected," Shafik told Reuters from Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.
Army helicopters over Cairo (Photo: Reuters)
"In my expectation, I think that this regime will completely end its relation with Egypt within a week and will end its relationship forever within the region ... Yesterday the regime's (reign) almost ended," Shafik said.
Millions of Egyptians took to the streets on Sunday to demand that Morsi quit, in crowds that were far larger than the Arab Spring uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Shafik was the last prime minister under Mubarak.
An outspoken critic of Morsi, Shafik said the Brotherhood had "led us to catastrophe in less than a year".
Morsi specifically criticized Shafik in a speech he gave last week ahead of the scheduled protests.
Morsi (center) with heads of armed forces (Photo: AP)
The Muslim Brotherhood's critics have accused the Islamist movement of using a series of electoral victories to monopolize power. Egyptians are also uneasy with a failing economy that has seen tourism and investment dry up, high inflation and fuel and power shortages.
Shafik, who is on an official watch list over graft charges which he has dismissed as political, did not rule out his return to Egypt to seek the presidency once again.
"For sure, I can do this (run as president) ... my voters are present and their numbers have increased," he said.
"This talk is before its time. But there's no doubt that it's one of the possibilities ahead of me," Shafik said.
The former air force pilot and prime minister, who along with his daughters and grandchildren fled to Abu Dhabi in June 2012 after Morsi was declared president, said he had been coordinating the street protests.
"No doubt, even though I've been sitting here (Abu Dhabi) I've had a role in what's happening," he said.
"I'm in continuous coordination with colleagues in Cairo. The coordination is over 24 hours. It's as if I'm living in Egypt," without giving details of the actual measures.
In a military career spanning four decades, Shafik served as a senior fighter pilot under ousted President Mubarak's command, and was credited with shooting down two Israeli aircraft in the October 1973 war.
Reuters contributed to the report
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