EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT HOSNI MUBARAK
The embattled, autocratic Mubarak wants to stay on until presidential elections in September, and oversee the transition toward a more open political system. Mubarak has dug in, rejecting demands voiced in daily mass protests that he step down now. He argues that if he quits now, more chaos will ensue.
VICE PRESIDENT OMAR SULEIMAN
The former intelligence chief, named vice president by Mubarak shortly after the Jan. 25 outbreak of mass protests, offers to negotiate with all political forces, including the protest leaders and the regime's top foe, the Muslim Brotherhood, over constitutional changes ahead of September presidential elections to ensure a fair vote.
The pro-democracy movement in Egypt consists of a loose alliance of diverse forces, included the Muslim Brotherhood and young educated Egyptians who have used the Internet to organize. Their shared position is that they will only negotiate the terms of a transition once Mubarak leaves.
OPPOSITION FIGURE MOHAMED ELBARADEI
The Nobel Peace laureate, one of the leaders of the protest movement, says a transitional government should be headed by a presidential council of two or three figures, including a military representative. He says it should lead for a year before elections because real constitution reform will take a long time, making a September timetable unrealistic. ElBaradei says he respects Suleiman as someone to negotiate with over the transition.
THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION
U.S. officials are in talks with top Egyptian officials about the possibility of Mubarak immediately resigning and handing over power to a military-backed transitional government headed by Suleiman. U.S. officials speaking on condition anonymity say the U.S. isn't seeking to impose a solution on Egypt but has concluded Mubarak has to go soon if there is to be a peaceful resolution.