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FAQ: What does Hosni Mubarak's refusal to quit mean in Egypt


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Why won’t President Hosni Mubarak resign?
To Mubarak, clinging to power isn’t a tactic but rather a right. After 30 years as president, he sincerely believes that he’s what’s best for Egypt and that he’s protecting Egypt, said Hind Rassam Culhane, a Mercy College Middle Eastern affairs expert.

Can he hang on until September?
"The protestors are not going to let that happen. They’ve worked too hard. They’ve sacrificed too much,” said Arab-American activist Linda Sarsour. “Anger is at an ultimate high, and when people are that angry, they will make things happen.”

Under what scenarios will he be ousted?
Pressure from protesters at his gate could lead him to flee the country. “The marathon of protests ... will only intensify so long as the delusional Mubarak continues to see himself as part of Egypt’s solution and not the problem itself,” said Brooklyn-based activist Faiza N. Ali.

It may also ultimately come to a military coup, which experts are suspicious is in the works. There was a disconnect Thursday between what Army leaders said — Cairo commander General Hassan al-Roueini and chief of staff Sami Anan had indicated Mubarak would resign — and what actually happened. This could mean the military was blindsided by his decision.

Who’s really calling the shots in the country?
Mubarak. In his speech he said he’ll relinquish some power to the vice president he appointed last month, Omar Suleiman, but experts said Suleiman is a (Mubarak) puppet.

Who could take power next?
The protest has been faceless, with icons such as young Google executive Wael Ghonim and Nobel laureate Mohamed El Baradei but no clear leader. The next government, interim or long-term, could be a modified version of Mubarak’s with pro-West vice president Suleiman at the helm. Egypt also could come under military control or after elections are held, vote members of the Muslim Brotherhood into power, Culhane said.

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