The Egyptian military asserted on Saturday that it managed to fill the political void left behind with the departure of Hosni Mubarak, President for 30 years, and was ready to steer the country's transition to democracy in the post-Mubarak era.
An army spokesman reassured Egypt's allies, the United States and Israel, that Cairo would abide by all international treaties, including the 1979 peace treaty with Israel. Without stating any timelines, the spokesman said the current civilian leadership would continue until a new government was formed.
Internally, the military appeared to have taken steps to prevent prominent regime figures from fleeing the country. The Egyptian daily Al Masry Al Youm quoted a Cairo airport official as saying that the authorities had handed over to the immigration, a list of individuals who should be disallowed to travel abroad, unless the state prosecutor or the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces permitted them to do so.
At the Tahrir Square, the feeling of deep accomplishment brought about by Mr. Mubarak's unceremonious exit on Friday, was giving way to serious circumspection. Many questioned how the pro-democracy movement should adapt to the post-Mubarak era. Can the all-powerful military top brass be trusted for ushering in a democratic transition in Egypt? Was it time to wind up the Tahrir Square encampment, the most visible symbol of the uprising?
As the debate raged, a group describing itself as the “People of the 25 January Revolution” coalition announced “continuation of the peaceful revolution until final victory is achieved and all demands are met.”
As the military began exploring options, pro-democracy leader Mohamed ElBaradei suggested, during an interview with CNN, that he wanted the military to share power by forming a “government of national unity” to steer Egypt's political transition.