Egypt PM says 'we need Mubarak in power for legislative reasons'

10:37, February 05, 2011      

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As tens of thousands packed central Cairo Friday to force President Hosni Mubarak to immediately end his 30-year rule, Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq said Mubarak should be in power for "legislative reasons."

"Mubarak, as a president, is a source for the country's security," he told Dubai-based Al-Arabiya TV, ruling out a possibility that Mubarak could turn over his power to his deputy Omar Suleiman.

Mubarak, aged 82, has vowed not to seek another term when his presidential term ends in September.

"I doubt this proposal (for Mubarak to step down immediately) will be acceptable and the president's presence is a kind of a safety valve. He does not need to stay four more months," Shafiq said. "Most of Egyptians don't want the president to step down."

Earlier in the day, Shafiq said the transition of power should be in a civilized and courteous fashion.

The New York Times said the U.S. administration is discussing with Egyptian officials a proposal for Mubarak to resign immediately and turn over power to a transition government.

"If the Egyptian people were asked in a nationwide vote, more than 95 percent of them will vote for leaving the president to wrap up his term and not now as the U.S. and some Western powers want," premier Shafiq told Al-Hurra TV.

Source: Xinhua
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