To elated cheers of hundreds of thousands of demonstrators, President Hosni Mubarak has ceded power to the Egyptian military. On Thursday, Mubarak gave a televised address in which he defied expectations and vowed to remain President until elections in September, at which point he would not run for re-election. But furious protesters stood their ground, rallying in cities all over Egypt. Less than 24 hours later, Mubarak’s determination cracked. Mubarak is the second Arab leader to relinquish power in the face of a massive populist uprising. Tunisia's President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali stepped down in the face of overwhelming street protests less than a month ago. “This is the greatest day of my life,” said Nobel Laureate and opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei. “The country has been liberated." Though the day is one of celebration for many, it creates far more questions than it answers. What will become of Egypt now? With Mubarak gone will there be real change? Or is this a military coup more than a step towards democracy? With two dictatorships toppled, is the hunger for democracy in the Middle East satisfied, or has the wave of popular revolt only barely begun to rise?
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