The tide of popular opinion has turned against President Mubarak of Egypt, who was today faced with one million people crowding the main square in Cairo, calling for his resignation.
As the rail network was closed, roads blocked and telephone access restricted, the flood of bodies continued to fill the capital. Egypt is currently operating under a curfew between the hours of 3pm and 8am, though many defied the orders to call for democratic elections and a new constitution.
World leaders have conducted a flurry of phones calls as significant protests in Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan have led to political change and calls for wider political participation. Hosni Mubarak announced a new cabinet on Monday which failed to mollify today’s million person protest. King Abdullah today announced a new cabinet in Jordan after streets protests in the country.
Prayers took place in Tahrir square and the army maintained a checkpoint, though it promised not to use violance against peaceful protestors. Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency and a Nobel laureate, has been lined up as a potential successor to Mubarak, at least until elections can take place. He told Al-Arabiya Television:
“There can be dialogue but it has to come after the demands of the people are met and the first of those is that President Mubarak leaves.”
The former diplomat and lawyer flew back to his native country on Thursday to help protestors in negotiations with the government.