Mubarak's Re-Election Plans Draw Mixed Response

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak appears on state television Feb. 1, 2011. CBS

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's announcement Tuesday that he would not run for election in September and would seek to bring constitutional and social reforms during the remainder of his term drew mixed reactions.

(Watch at left a CBS News special report on Mubarak's announcement)

For most protesters across the country, Mubarak's stance to stay in office for the next eight months was not exactly what they wanted to hear. Protesters have focused on the immediate resignation of Mubarak as desired outcome of their efforts. Some protesters removed their shoes, shouting that Mubarak is a liar and offering empty promises, according to CNN's Arwa Damon, who's in Cairo.

"They want him out now and anyone associated with him," Damon said.

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Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian writer covering Arab and Muslim issues but isn't in Egypt now, Tweeted,"It's #Mubarak vs #Egypt and Egypt must win. Armed forces has to understand. There's no way Mubarak can stay till September. OUT."

Amr Moussa, secretary-general of the Arab League, said the debate over the next few days will be intense and objective as consensus builds around the next steps for Egypt's government, which includes amending its constitution.

"Something new has been offered and should be considered carefully. The message that he will not stand for re-election is important," Moussa told CNN. He also said that he would take seriously the possibility running for the presidency of Egypt.

CNN's Ben Wedeman said that the unrest in Egypt could lose its edge following Mubarak's promise to initiate reforms and stand down in September.

"No one wants radical change that could destabilize country," Wedeman told CNN.

Brian Katulis, a former State Department official, told MSNBC that Mubarak is "playing with fire if he seeks to dig in his heels" and cautioned that his hanging on to the presidency could have broader, negative implications for the region.

Marc Ambinder, a CBS News political consultant and National Journal reporter, Tweeted that "Mubarak's immediate abdication would put (newly appointed Vice President Omar) Suleiman in power", which would satisfy Washington but probably not the Egyptians.

For the U.S., that leaves the option of working with opposition movement leaders, led by Mohamed ElBaradei.

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