US Backs Suleiman; Demonstrators Shrug

Leaders of ruling party resign, but protesters see it all as half-steps
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2011 12:50 PM CST
Anti-government protesters form a human chain to prevent Egyptian army tanks from clearing barricades next to the Egyptian Museum at an entrance to Tahrir Square.   (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
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(Newser) – See if this sounds familiar: The day's wire reports on Egypt bring news of yet more pressure on Hosni Mubarak and more concessions from the government, followed by the same response protesters have given for 12 days—nowhere near good enough. The two developments competing for headlines are:

  • Hillary Clinton specifically endorsed the idea of a transitional government led by VP Omar Suleiman, the first time a high-ranking US official has done so, reports the Wall Street Journal. Still, she backed off on the push for immediate change, adds the New York Times. “That takes some time,” she said. “There are certain things that have to be done in order to prepare.” Opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei repeated that nothing short of Mubarak's departure will satisfy.

  • The leadership of Egypt's ruling party resigned, including Hosni's son Gamal and some of the nation's top politicians. Some accounts had Hosni Mubarak himself quitting as leader of the party, reports Reuters, but they're not confirmed and seemingly irrelevant: Demonstrators brushed it all off as semantics.
Against this backdrop, Mubarak tried to proceed with business as usual by meeting with the new ministers in his government, reports al-Jazeera.

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