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11 February 2011

Mubarak steps down as president

Egyptian president leaves Cairo * Armed forces handed power.

By George Eaton

After last night’s resignation-that-never-was, Hosni Mubarak has finally stood down as president of Egypt. The armed forces have been handed de facto control of the country.

Here is the short statement issued by Vice-President Omar Suleiman:

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In these difficult circumstances that the country is passing through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to leave the position of the presidency. He has commissioned the armed forces council to direct the issues of the state.

The opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei has described the events as “the greatest day of my life . . . The country has been liberated after decades of repression.” He added that he expects a “beautiful” transition of power.

Few will be so sanguine. Mubarak may have gone, but the fight for democracy is far from over.