Anti-Mubarak rally
Photo: Reuters

Mubarak: Order must be restored

Despite opposition leader ElBaradei's demand that he 'leave Egypt today,' president refuses to cede power, calls on vice president and new PM to implement additional reforms. Government extends curfew; police to help army contain protests

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak told Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq on Sunday that the government's first priority should be to restore order on the streets.


In a letter to his new PM, Mubarak said that Egypt's new government would preserve subsidies, control inflation and provide jobs, state television reported.


Protesters that have rocked Egypt complain about surging prices and the gap between rich and poor but have also called for a new political system. 


"I require you to bring back confidence in our economy," Mubarak wrote, state television said. "I trust your ability to implement economic policies that accord the highest concern to people's suffering."


During a meeting with Shafiq and incoming Vice President Omar Suleiman, Mubarak called on the government to implement additional political reforms.


Meanwhile, the government extended the curfew, which will now begin at 3 pm instead of 4 pm starting Monday. The curfew will end at the same time of 8 am the next day, state television reported.


"This is a country that is falling apart," ElBaradei told CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS, adding that Egypt is entering a period of transition, and a government of national unity is needed to fill the void and hold "fair and free" elections.


Al-Jazeera reported Sunday evening that police forces, which failed to contain the protests during the first few days of the civil unrest and were replaced by the army, were redeployed Monday in city centers, particularly in Cairo's Tahrir Square, where tens of thousands of people rallied during the day.


It was further reported that security has been beefed up near power stations throughout Egypt.


Egyptian television, which is consistently ignoring the protests, showed Mubarak and Suleiman at the Egyptian army's headquarters. Additional footage showed Defense Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi visiting soldiers positioned near the Egyptian television station just a day after the publication of false reports saying he was fired.


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Sunday that the US expects that the protests in Egypt will lead to free and fair elections as part of an "orderly" transition to "real democracy."


News agencies contributed to the report



פרסום ראשון: 01.30.11, 22:53
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