While we wait for a possible television address by Mubarak, the language of this report suggests a military takeover is possible. An update on this story. “Mubarak likely to quit, opponents fear coup,” by Edmund Blair and Samia Nakhoul for Reuters, February 10:
CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak looked likely to step down on Thursday after the military high command took control of a nation, shaken by more than two weeks of unprecedented protests, in what some called a military coup.
The armed forces, issuing what they labeled “Communique No.1,” announced they were moving to preserve the nation and the aspirations of the people. The Higher Army Council met to try to calm an earthquake of unrest which has shocked the Middle East.
Mubarak, a former air force commander, was not present at the council meeting. He was to address Egyptians on television. A government official said this was likely to take place at 10 p.m. (2000 GMT). It would be his third such address since the uprising started on January 25. Last week, he pledged to step down in September, but that failed to appease the protesters.
Greenwich Mean Time is 2 hours behind Cairo. If the address is at 10:00 Cairo time, it could be imminent. If it is at 10:00 GMT, we could have at least 2 more hours from the time of this posting, potentially placing the address at midnight Cairo time.
“The fact that the army met without Mubarak who is the head of the armed forces means that the military has taken over power and I expect this to be announced shortly in Mubarak’s televised speech,” Nabil Abdel Fattah, at the Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said.
State television showed footage of Mubarak, sitting behind his desk in silence, in a meeting with Vice President Omar Suleiman. The station said they met on Thursday, although that was unclear from the footage. Suleiman, a former intelligence chief, had also not been present at the army council.
Al Arabiya television said the generals planned to support a handover of effective power to Suleiman, a 74-year-old former intelligence chief who has long had the goodwill of Washington and Israel. The military would take action, the broadcaster said citing unspecified sources, if protesters rejected that plan….