Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has resigned and the military has assumed power.
Omar Suleiman, appointed vice president by Mubarak last week in a bid to quell burgeoning protests, made the announcement on state TV Friday and said that power had transferred to the military’s Supreme Council.
Cheers erupted in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, the focal point of the protests, after the announcement, but how and whether the military transitions to democracy remains to be seen.
The military is seen as more trusted by Egyptians than the police, which Mubarak had used in an attempt to crush the protests launched Jan. 25.
Western analysts had hoped the military would play a role in the transition because of its closeness to the United States and its cordial relations with Israel.
Presidential elections are due in September.
Mubarak left Cairo for his home in the Sinai resort of Shaem El Sheik.
Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman announces Mubarak’s resignation:
Video from CNN.
Hundreds of thousands of Egyptian protesters waved flags, cried, cheered and embraced in celebration when the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak was announced.
“The people have brought down the regime,” chanted the crowds in Tahrir Square.
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