Maldivian President joins calls for Mubarak to step down

President Mohamed Nasheed has joined the first wave of world leaders calling for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down and “heed the will of the Egyptian people,” after hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets and demanded the end of autocratic rule.

“Egypt is a mature country. It contains many reasonable people who are capable of ruling reasonably,” President Nasheed said, during an interview with the BBC yesterday.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has warned Mubarak that his actions now would determine his legacy.

“Mr Hosni Mubarak: I want to make a very sincere recommendation, a very candid warning… All of us will die and will be questioned over what we left behind,” Erdogan said, in a party speech broadcast in Arabic and reported by Reuters Africa.

“As Muslims, where we all go is a two cubic metre hole,” he said. “Listen to the shouting of the people, the extremely humane demands. Without hesitation, satisfy the people’s desire for change.”

Mubarak has meanwhile offered to step down at the next election, during an appearance on Egypt’s state-run television network.

“In the few months remaining in my current term I will work towards ensuring a peaceful transition of power,” Mubarak said. “I have exhausted my life in serving Egypt and my people. I will die on the soil of Egypt and be judged by history.”

However, demonstrators have called for Mubarak’s immediate departure, given the extraordinary expression of public anger taking place in the country.

Egypt’s opposition leader, Nobel peace laureate Mohamed El Baradei, yesterday noted that demonstrators were increasingly calling for the President to not just resign but be put on trial, and urged him to leave at once “if he wants to save his skin”.

In another development, after initial prevarication US President Barack Obama appears to have withdrawn support for the Egyptian leader, praising the protesters and calling for an immediate transition of power following a 30 minute conversation with Mubarak.

The US has been a key ally of the embattled Egyptian President, pumping US2$billion of aid in the country annually since 1979. Much of this – US$1.3 billion in 2010 – is military aid, mostly Pentagon castoffs, making Egypt the second largest such recipient of US military assistance after Israel. This has seen a good deal of public anger aimed at the US within Egypt.

Mubarak’s other public allies – Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia – have been noticeably silent since the protests began.

Remarkably, the Egyptian military appears to have turned on Mubarak, stating publicly on state media that it would not obey orders to use force against the protesters.

“The presence of the army in the streets is for your sake and to ensure your safety and wellbeing. The armed forces will not resort to use of force against our great people,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, the UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper has published a leaked confidential cable between Washington and the US Ambassador to Cairo, Margaret Scobey, sent on December 30, 2008, outlining conversations with an unnamed “activist” concerning “regime change” in Egypt prior to the elections in September 2011.

“According to [the source], the opposition is interested in receiving support from the army and the police for a transitional government prior to the 2011 elections. [The source] asserted that this plan is so sensitive it cannot be written down,” the communication revealed.

“[The source] asserted that Mubarak derives his legitimacy from US support, and therefore charged the US with ‘being responsible’ for Mubarak’s ‘crimes’,” wrote Scobey.

“He accused NGOs working on political and economic reform of living in a ‘fantasy world’, and not recognising that Mubarak – ‘the head of the snake’ – must step aside to enable democracy to take root.”

Scobey, however, did not appear optimistic about the source’s chances of success, describing its goal of replacing the current regime with a parliamentary democracy prior to the 2011 presidential elections as “highly unrealistic”.

“Most opposition parties and independent NGOs work toward achieving tangible, incremental reform within the current political context, even if they may be pessimistic about their chances of success. [The source’s] wholesale rejection of such an approach places him outside this mainstream of opposition politicians and activists,” Scobey wrote.

In his interview with the BBC, President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed called on Western powers “not to fear a democratic Egypt”, because this, he claimed, “is the best guarantor of fundamental liberties and human rights.”

“Suppressing people with extremist views through repressive means only makes them stronger,” he said.

“Fundamental rights and freedoms are human aspirations… things that all of us want. These forces are playing out on the streets of the Middle East today.”

The Maldivian government has asked Maldivians in Egypt to leave the country as protests escalate. Haveeru reported that 107 Maldivian nationals were leaving the country today on an Indian flight va Mumbai, arranged by the government.


14 thoughts on “Maldivian President joins calls for Mubarak to step down”

  1. Same face, same number of years in power and same excused to say in power long as the Moya burden we have in this country.

    Take my word, this Egyptian burden, like the Maldivian burden Moyamoon, Mu Bark will come back in two year and will talk about needing a change and the horrible human rights record as well.

    Like our Egypt educated burden he wants to limit Presidential term, restore democracy... etc.

    So familiar aren't they.

    Likes of these people will never stop until they completely destroy their beloved country.

  2. Dear Hosni Mubarak;

    Who engineered 9/11 to sell hatred of Islam for 10 years?

  3. Another campaign strategy by the president.Trying to get more votes for his party. All politicians are full of crap.

  4. @President Nasheed “Suppressing people with extremist views through repressive means only makes them stronger,”

    So, what is the answer when faced with extremists? Negotiating with them is futile. For example, Islamists aim for a Muslim conquest of the what is there to negotiate? Appeasement leads to defeat by extremists.

  5. Egyptians should not give up and wait until September.
    If given enough time, The Regime will hide all evidence of corruption and Stolen Money and make Back-up before they leave.
    A Good Example is Maldives.The former regime left after hiding all the dirty work they have done with enough back-up to fight back. And still they control some of the important Parts of the Administration.

  6. "Fundamental rights and freedoms are human aspirations… things that all of us want. These forces are playing out on the streets of the Middle East today.”

    can we have some of those rights in this country as well. i know we have political freedom now, but we are far behind in some other categories.

  7. Husney Gayyoom dho ..... Now he will formulate the Egyptian Rayyithuge Party [ERP] ..... Egypt to new Hights "Aa Usminthakakah" way above the pyramids

  8. We are proof that a peaceful transition is possible. Since 2003 when the most recent warning shots occurred, banned and unrecognized, but the brightest political leaders channeled the peoples energy through a political party and lobbied and negotiated with the state: Gayyoom (executive), Gayyoom (legislature) and Gayyoom (Judiciary). The MDP also entered into pro-active dialogue with the International Community while engaged with the grassroots nationally. As the Egyptian case unfolds, we see the Egyption people left to attempt what the Maldives took 5 years to achieve in a matter of days LIVE over Al Jazeera. Egyptians as well as Tunisians are today giving credibility and definition to a process Maldives endured as the first Muslim country to embrace Democracy. Go Egyptians Go....we are all going to be OK. Cheers

  9. Israel is not quiet in this unrest. They are worried to their bollocks. They have been carefully studying the inrest and holding numerous military preparations (according to BBC). Israel fears a change of regime in Egypt could mean in way loss for Israel. They fear that their three decade peace deal with Egypt might be affected because of democracy in Egypt and Israel could be again at the threat of war with Egypt. So don't say they are quiet. They are the most worried people right now in middle east. And the US and EU are also sick worried. For decades they didn't want this day to happen and now that its happening, they don't know what to do. The west never wanted democarcy in arab states, as they feared it would be a threat for Israel. Mubarak has been a man of choice for USA and Europe, as they always knew he would not harm Israel. Hence they have been pumping him with money. And Israel fears that if democaracy come to Egypt and the government falls into muslim political parties, they have to again increase their defense budget which Israel decreased from 35% to 9% after making peace deal with Egypt 30 years ago. This was one of the reason why Israels economy grew during these three decades. A change is leadership in Egypt will affect Israel the most and this worries not only Israel, but USA and Europe. Now you know why the very west which calls for democracy in every country never called for democracy in arab states in middle states. The arab states have leaders who they prefer and those who dance to the music of the west.

  10. Totally agree with Ibrahim Yasir.

    The sleeping giant awakens. The whole region and even the world will definitely notice this awakening.

    Egypt's potential has been kept under wraps for a very long time. Who will be next in the Middle East? What about the other other sleeping giant of the region, Saudi Arabia? A swelling population of increasingly poor people in Saudi Arabia combined with radicalisation is a potential time bomb waiting to go off anytime. Clearly the West will try everything in their power to keep the Saudi monarchy in power!

  11. Now for GAYoom - only 1 choice for fleeing the country. Saudi.
    The place where he learned all his tricks won't be welcome any more. I mean Egypt.

  12. A dictator in making calling another dictator to step down. Its funny, today we saw news dictator Nasheed order to arrest and island Katheeb, just because he was not there when he arrive that island without prior notice. In another incidence dictator Nasheed's MP Raako Moosa ask police to arrest person simply listening music at his home in an island, suppose to relate Moosa.

  13. Another Hip Hip Horaa for President Nasheed! But remember to bring true Democracy you need to say "NO" to the master minds of anti Democratic force namely tourism lobby!! Also keep the secularist and Islamist in a tolerant environment without taking any one of these sides!! Also you need to outcast the outlaws in the the parliament, executive, and judiciary!! You know whom i am referring to. Maldives Constitution say, child abuse, drug abusers (not just addicts), alcohol drinkers, women beaters..etc are all strictly against constitution! You need to impose the constitution to these "powerful" class! I know you are genuine and a reformer..if you don't bring justice to the society we will slip back to Gayoom/Mubarak regime! I/We are wait for you to act firm!

  14. I guess this is a clear evidence how Gayoom ran Maldives when he was in power. I guess our people will never make that mistake again to vote for DRP tomorrow


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