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Opinion: Mubarak taunts the people by refusing to resign

After more than two weeks of protests calling for his resignation, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak still refuses to stand down. He is now becoming a security risk, argues Rainer Sollich of DW's Arabic Service.

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All the predictions and hopes turned out to be false. In the face of huge protests, Hosni Mubarak remains persistent. He mocks his people by refusing to resign.

Before Thursday evening's big televised statement, Egypt was rife with rumors of resignation, with the country's military even directly spreading some of the rumors themselves.

Even the CIA suspected that Mubarak's resignation was likely. The crowds packing the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities were hopeful, gathering in their thousands expecting to hear Mubarak address the country and announce his departure.

Rainer Sollich

Rainer Sollich is the head of DW's Arabic Service

Instead, what the people heard has understandably made them angry. Mubarak is playing a dirty game at the expense of his own people.

Mubarak remains in office, but has delegated his power to Vice President Omar Suleiman. His speech promised reform. He praised himself as a patriot and a guarantor of stability.

However, all of this is just hot air and a mockery. The Egyptian people have had enough of social injustice and political oppression. They demand freedom and democracy and deserve every support - including from Europe.

The president's stubbornness could now play a role in inciting the protest movement to violence. This has uncontrollable consequences, including the potential for a military coup.

Mubarak, long indulged as a guarantor of stability, is now himself becoming a security risk. Both for Egypt and the wider region.

Author: Rainer Sollich / cb
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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