Egypt: ‘Omar Suleiman was part of the old system. We want a new system’

The news dribbled in to Tahrir Square in phone calls, text messages, by word of mouth. The details were vague but the demonstrators, some of whom have been camped in the square for nearly a fortnight, agreed that concessions offered by the man who increasingly appears to run Egypt, the vice president and former intelligence chief Omar Suleiman, were a good sign. The regime was crumbling. But what of President Hosni Mubarak? The news was disappointing. Tens of thousands of people packed in to Tahrir Square again, as determined now to rid Egypt of the man who has ruled for 30 years as they were when the uprising began nearly a fortnight ago. Some welcomed news of talks between Suleiman and opposition figures as further evidence that the regime’s power is waning. But they still wanted to see the protests through until their central demand – for Mubarak’s resignation – has been met. Many were wary of the apparent deal being cooked up between Washington and Suleiman, with European backing, for the old regime to oversee the transition to democracy.

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