Cairo (AsiaNews) - President Hosni Mubarak has resigned. The announcement was made on television today, shortly after 18 (local time) with a declaration read by Vice-President Omar Suleiman. Suleiman said that Mubarak has handed over power to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
His resignation takes place after 18 days of protests by hundreds of thousands of people.
As the news spread, the crowds gathered in Tahrir Square - almost a million people - started crying, whistling and waving Egyptian flags. In other cities, people poured into streets to celebrate. "It's a wave of unbridled joy - a priest tells AsiaNews - and people are bursting with hapinness."
One protester told AsiaNews: "It is important that Mubarak does not flee abroad. He must be tried and must pay for everything he has done against us. For 30 years he has put a police state in place, tortured and killed, while he got richer and richer. Now he must pay for all this. "
But things remain to be seen. Mubarak's resignation and the end of emergency rule were among the top demands of the popular protests of recent days. Other demands were for a change of constitution to guarantee greater democracy, with full citizenship for all citizens, freedom of expression, assembly and religion.
One protester shouted: "This revolution is not 'Islamic', it is the people’s revolution".