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February 05, 2011

Mubarak Quits as Head of Ruling Party

Continues as president.

State TV reports that President Hosni Mubarak has resigned as head of Egypt's ruling party.

However, Mubarak still continues as the nation's president.

His son, Gamal Mubarak, and the National Democratic Party's secretary-general, Safwat el-Sharif, have also resigned from the party, in a new gesture to protesters carrying out a 12-day-old wave of anti-government demonstrations.

State TV said the ruling party's six-member Steering Committee of the General Secretariat stepped down and was replaced. The council was the party's highest decision-making body, and el-Sharif and other outgoing members were some of the most powerful (and to many Egyptians, unpopular) political figures in the regime.

El-Sharif was replaced by Hossam Badrawi, member of the liberal wing of the party who had been sidelined within the NDP ranks in recent years because of his sharp criticisms of some policies.

This comes as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking today at an international security conference in Munich, signaled that U.S. support has swung behind a transition headed by the recently-named vice president, Omar Suleiman.

Update: Has Mubarak resigned? There seems to be some confusion. While the AP and Reuters say yes, Al Jazeera says no.

But an Al Jazeera reporter, Alan Fisher, reports on Twitter that the station has been unable to get official confirmation (even though the anchor has been announcing the resignation for the last hour), and the Al Jazeera scroll now only speaks of Gamal Mubarak's resignation, not his father's. It seems that the source of the information may not be state television at all, but Al Arabiya, a private pan-Arab television station.

@AlanFisher, the al Jazeera correspondent, reports: "TV station breaking the news now backpedaling."

Thanks to DrewM.


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posted by rdbrewer at 12:06 PM

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