Former TV official: Mubarak completely detached during 25 Jan uprising

Former President Hosni Mubarak was totally isolated from reality in his presidential palace during the January 2011 uprising that forced him to resign, a former senior state TV official said Monday.

The president was gripped by political stupidity, denial and indecision, Abdel Latif al-Menawy, the former head of the news department at the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU), said in an interview with the private satellite channel CBC.

Mubarak was completely detached from the events in Cairo and Gamal, the ex-president's younger son, was entirely in charge, Menawy said.

Menawy said he will relate a number of behind-the-scenes events that took place in the presidential quarters during the 18-day uprising in his forthcoming book, "Tahrir: The Last 18 Days of Mubarak," which will be available on 28 January.

Menawy had written a draft letter to Mubarak during the revolt urging him to quit the government and transfer power to whomever he wished. On 9 February, Menawy said the former president had told him in a phone call that he wanted to address the Egyptian people and remind them of his "achievements" during his 30-year rule. And on 10 February, someone phoned Mubarak to tell him the situation on the ground was much worse than he realized and urged him to take quicker action, according to Menawy.

"At that time, I believed that Mubarak only needed sympathy, and so I suggested that he deliver an emotional speech, in which I included a reference to his participation in the 1973 war against Israel and an emphasis that he was not seeking re-election," Menawy said in the interview.

Menawy also said he had approved the broadcast of Communique No. 1 from the now-ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. In the communique, the council announced it would convene permanently and adopt measures to protect the country. The presidential staff was surprised by the military's statement, and Mubarak Chief of Staff Zakariya Azmy phoned Menawy to voice his anger over the announcement, Menawy said.

Mubarak's sons, Alaa and Gamal, did not resist their father's resignation and agreed to move to the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, Menawy said. He said Alaa more anxious to preserve his father's prestige than Gamal.

Related Articles

Back to top button