The Last Official Address by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak

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The Last Official Address
by Egyptian President
Hosni Mubarak
February 10, 2011
Translation by Tony Badran
Fellow citizens, sons, the young men and women of Egypt. Today I address Egypt’s youth in
Tahrir Square and all throughout Egypt, I am speaking to you all from the heart, as a
father to his sons and daughters, and I tell you that I am proud of you as a symbol of a new
Egyptian generation calling for change for the better, and holding on to change and
dreaming of the future and fashioning it. I tell you, first off, that the blood of your martyrs
and your wounded will not go to waste. I assure you that I will not compromise in
punishing those responsible harshly and decisively. And I will hold to account those who
have committed crimes against our youth to the fullest extent of the law.
I tell the families of those innocents victims that I felt strong pain for them just as
you have, and my heart ached just as yours ached.
I tell you that my responding to your voice and your message and your demands is a
commitment from which there is no turning back, and that I am determined to fulfill what I
have promised in all seriousness and honesty, and that I am very keen on implementing all
of it without hesitation or looking back.
This commitment stems from a sure conviction of the honesty and purity of your
intentions and your movement, and that your demands are just and legitimate. Mistakes
are possible in any political system and in any country, but what’s important is admitting
them and rectifying them swiftly and holding those who commit them accountable.
I tell you, as president of the republic, that I never find it embarrassing or
objectionable to listen to my country’s youth and be responsive to them. But what is
exceedingly embarrassing and shameful, and what I have never and will never accept, is to
listen to foreign dictates coming from abroad, wherever their source, and whatever their
pretexts and justifications.
Sons, the youth of Egypt, fellow citizens, I have declared in unambiguous terms that
I would not run in the next presidential elections, satisfied with what I have offered my
country over sixty years in war and in peace. I have expressed my commitment to that, and
I have declared a similar and equal commitment to proceed with bearing my responsibility
in protecting the constitution and the interests of the people until power and responsibility
are handed over to whomever the voters choose next September, in free, fair elections,
whose freedom and fairness will be guaranteed. That is the oath that I took before God and
country, and I will keep it until we carry Egypt and its people to safety.
I have proposed a specific vision to get out of the current crisis and achieve what the
youth and citizens have called for in a way that respects constitutional legitimacy and does
not undermine it, and in a way that achieves the stability of our society and the demands of
its sons, while at the same time presenting an agreed framework for the peaceful transfer
of power through a responsible dialogue between all the forces of society and with utmost
sincerity and transparency.
I proposed this vision in keeping with my responsibility to carry the nation out of
these critical times, and I continue to implement it as my foremost priority, hour by hour,
looking forward to the support and assistance of all who care for Egypt and its people, in
order to succeed in turning it into a tangible reality, according to a wide and broad-based
national consensus, whose implementation our brave armed forces will guarantee.
We have indeed begun a constructive national dialogue that includes Egypt’s youth,
who have led the call for change, and all the political forces. This dialogue has resulted in a
preliminary consensus in opinions and positions, which puts us on the right path to get out
of the crisis, and it should be continued in order to move it from broad headlines of what
was agreed upon to a clear road map with a specific timetable that would proceed day by
day on the road to the peaceful transfer of power from now until September.
This national dialogue has converged on forming a constitutional commission to
study the requested amendments to the constitution and the required legislative
amendments. It has also converged on forming a follow-up commission to pursue the
faithful implantation of what I have promised before the people.
I made sure that the two commissions would be made up of Egyptian personalities
whose independence and impartiality were well attested, as well as constitutional law
scholars and judges.
In addition, facing all those we have lost as martyrs from the sons of Egypt, in tragic
events that have pained our hearts and shaken the nation’s conscience, I have issued
instructions to quickly conclude investigations into last week’s events, and to immediately
refer their outcome to the attorney general for him to take the necessary deterrent legal
action.
Yesterday I received the first report on the primary constitutional amendments
suggested by the commission, which I created from judges and constitutional law scholars
in order to study the requested constitutional and legislative amendments.
In response to the proposals in the commission report, and in line with the powers
granted to the president of the republic according to Article 189 of the constitution, I
submitted a request today to amend six articles of the constitution, which are Articles 76,
77, 88, 93, and 189, in addition to the annulment of Article 179, while also confirming
readiness to submit at a later time a request to amend the articles which the constitutional
commission will suggest, based on its consideration of the reasons and justifications.
These primary amendments aim to facilitate conditions for nomination for the
presidency of the republic, and to adopt a specific limit on presidential terms, in order to
achieve transfer of power, and to enhance election monitoring in order to ensure their
freedom and fairness. The amendments also affirm the sole competence of the judiciary in
deciding the validity and membership of members of parliament, and to amend the
conditions and procedures for requesting constitutional amendments.
The proposal to abolish Article 179 of the constitution aims at achieving the required
balance between protecting the homeland from the dangers of terrorism and ensuring
respect for civil rights and liberties of citizens, such as to open the door to cease operating
by the emergency law, as soon as calm and stability are restored and the appropriate
conditions for lifting the state of emergency are attained.
Fellow citizens, the priority now is to restore confidence among Egyptians,
confidence in our economy and our international reputation, and confidence that there will
be no hesitation in or turning back from the change and transformation which we have
begun.
Egypt is going through difficult times that we should not allow to continue, as they
would inflict further damage and losses on us and our economy, and the situation in Egypt
would end up such that the youth who have called for change and reform would become the
first to suffer.
The present moment is not about my person; it’s not about Hosni Mubarak. Rather,
it has become about Egypt in its present and the future of its sons.
All Egyptians are in the same trench now, and we have to continue the national
dialogue that we have started with the spirit of a single team, not multiple ones, and away
from dispute and rivalry, in order for Egypt to overcome its current crisis and to restore
confidence in our economy, and security and tranquility to our citizens, and daily normal
life to the Egyptian street.
I was a young man like the Egyptian youth of today when I learned the honor of the
Egyptian military and loyalty to the homeland and sacrifice on its behalf. I have spent a
lifetime defending its soil and its sovereignty. I have witnessed its wars, in defeats and in
victories. I have lived the days of defeat and occupation, and the days of the crossing [the
Suez], victory and liberation. The happiest day of my life was when I raised the flag of
Egypt over the Sinai. I have faced death a number of times as a fighter pilot and in Adis
Ababa and many times more. I have never succumbed to foreign pressures or diktats. I
have maintained the peace. I have worked for the security of Egypt and its stability. I have
worked hard for its revival. I have never sought after power or a fake popularity. I trust
that the overwhelming majority of the people know who Hosni Mubarak is. And it pains me
what I am experiencing today at the hands of some of my fellow countrymen.
In any case, as I am aware the danger of the current difficult crossroad, and based
on my conviction that Egypt is going through a defining moment in its history that requires
us to put the country’s supreme interest and to place Egypt first over any and every other
consideration, I have delegated presidential prerogatives to the vice president, in
accordance with constitutional specifications.
I am certain that Egypt will overcome its crisis. The will of its people will not be
broken. It will stand up on its feet again with the sincerity and loyalty of all its sons, and it
will repel the plotters and the gloaters.
We Egyptians will prove our ability to achieve the demands of the people through
civilized and sensible dialogue. We will prove that we are not followers of anyone and that
we don’t take instructions from anyone, and that no one makes decisions on our behalf
except for the pulse of the street and the demands of our countrymen.
We will prove that with the spirit and determination of Egyptians and with the
unity and cohesion of this people and with our adherence to Egypt’s pride, dignity and
unique and eternal identity, as it is the foundation and essence of our existence for more
than seven thousand years.
This spirit will live in us as long as Egypt and its people live. It will live in every one
of our peasants, workers, and intellectuals. It will remain in the hearts of our elders, youth,
and children—Muslims and Copts—and in the minds and consciences of our unborn
children.
I say again that I have lived for this country, safeguarding its responsibility and
trust. Egypt will remain above individuals and above everyone.
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