Nobel laureate Ahmed Zewail has joined those calling for President Hosni Mubarak to leave office, telling the BBC Wednesday that the president should "step down as soon as possible."
Zewail said his own personal initiative, which mostly calls for constitutional reforms and the release of political prisoners, does not include Mubarak's resignation among its demands. However, Zewail said he believes it would be better for Mubarak to step down to make way for the constitutional amendments that will help the transition to a more democratic administration.
What Egypt has been enduring since 25 January is a “historical chance,” said Zewail, to achieve change not only in Egypt but in the broader Arab world.
What the regime has offered so far is still not enough and has not reached the core of the crisis, he added, calling the proposed concessions "shallow".
Zewail, the 1999 winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, also emphasized the need for speedy trials for those in charge of what he called "corruption and killing the innocents."