Historic day for Egypt and the Arab world

11 February 2011

Historic day for Egypt and the Arab world

The resignation of President Mubarak of Egypt is the high point to date in what is a historic development for Egypt and for the whole of the Middle East, commented SP leader Emile Roemer after the now ex-Egyptian President’s decision to hand over his presidential powers. ‘The SP congratulates the Egyptian people and the courageous members of the 6th of April Movement who eighteen days ago began a political adventure that led to the political revolution of 11th February 2011. No-one could have dreamt, after the fraudulent parliamentary elections of November, 2010, that this would happen.

 Pedro Ugarte/ ANP

With Mubarak’s handover of power a start has been made in meeting the uprising’s demands. These demands concern not only President Mubarak’s departure but also putting an end to the state of emergency which has been in force for fully thirty-one years, the immediate introduction of freedom of the press, the appointment of independent judges and, most importantly, a new constitution and elections to a new parliament. The police state which has existed in Egypt for so many years has been dealt a heavy blow, but with at least three hundred deaths during the last eighteen days, a heavy price has been paid for this victory.

SP foreign affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel says that “this transfer of power is the start of a thoroughgoing process of political and social change which must lead to normal democratic relations. The Egyptian people must go through a process of democratisation in a peaceful manner, and elections must be held soon. International observers should ensure that what has been started today is continued in a reliable fashion. The armed forces, which play a central role in Egyptian political and economic life, have not actively combated the popular uprising and have given it a chance to grow. Their role must eventually, in this now developing revolutionary process, be fully subordinated to the civil power.”

After the fall of the dictator Ben Ali in Tunisia four weeks ago, it is now Hosni Mubarak who has left the political scene. “This is a warning to all presidents in the Arab world and the whole of the Middle East who in the last few decades have, with the support in many cases of western powers, remained in power,” Van Bommel added. “The political conditions in this part of the works will change fundamentally in the years to come. That is very good news.”

You are here