Protests continued on February 10th, with ever more people joining demonstrators in Tahrir Square. Strikes also continued nationwide and also spread further. Protesters across Egypt sang and waved Egyptian flags, as they expected Mubarak to announce his resignation. Numerous news channels reported that February 10th would be the day of Mubarak's resignation, as he was due to give a speech that night. Instead, Mubarak said he would be transferring his power to his vice president Omar Suleiman, would request six constitutional amendments and would lift emergency laws when security in the country permitted it. Protesters watched in stunned silence or in anger to his speech, some crying or waving their shoes in the air. Mubarak also said that he would penalise those responsible for the violence and has a clear vision on how to end the crisis, but is satisfied with what he has offered. He also stated he would be attempting to revise six articles to the constitution, and, while remaining President to the end of his term in September, would transfer his powers to Vice President Suleiman. The constitutional article is used to transfer powers if the president is "temporarily" unable to carry out his duties and does not mean his resignation. After the speech the more than 3 million protesters in Tahrir Square chanted for him to leave. Vice President Omar Suleiman called on the anti-Mubarak protesters to go home and eyewitnesses said that the Egyptian army had pulled out troops from many locations near the presidential palace in Cairo. Soon after the television announcement, a large number of protesters began to march towards the presidential palace and Mohamed ElBaradei warned that "Egypt will explode" because Mubarak refused to step down as well as calling on the military to intervene.
Massive protests continued into February 11th, with the Presidential Palace and Parliament remaining under protester control. Due to the sheer size of the area occupied by protesters, estimates on their numbers were unable to be made.
Then, at 18:00 Egypt time, the moment Egyptians had been waiting for for the last 18 days finally arrived. Revolution. Vice President Omar Suleiman announced that the Presidency had been vacated with power being transferred to an army council. It took him just over 30 seconds to make the following statement:
"In the name of Allah the most gracious the most merciful, my fellow citizens, in the difficult circumstances our country is experiencing, President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak has decided to give up the office of the president of the republic and instructed the supreme council of the armed forces to manage the affairs of the country. May God guide our steps."It took only moments for a deafening roar to sweep central Cairo and protesters fell to their knees and prayed, wept and let loose chants of victory. Protesters in Tahrir Square waved flags, held up hastily written signs declaring victory and embraced soldiers.
It took only 30 seconds on television to end Mubarak's 30 year reign. It would appear that the path is now open for the new Egyptian Democracy that the Egyptian people fought so hard for with their blood, sweat and tears, and in some cases even their lives. Countries across the region were also full of celebration as they hoped such events may lead to better lives for them too, however, these feelings were not felt in Israel as they fear whatever new government may develop may threaten the peace between the two countries which has steadied the region.
The Guardian has a rather good article on Mubarak's reign and some of the repercussions that may arise from his resignation.