Thousands of Egyptians took to the streets on January 29 for a fifth consecutive day, defying a curfew and the army's warning of a crackdown. The protests signal that President Hosni Mubarak's decision to sack his government is unlikely to appease protesters. RFE/RL Radio Farda's Roozbeh Bolhari speaks to Farideh Naghash, managing editor of the "Al Ahali" newspaper in Cairo, about Egypt's unprecedented unrest.
RFE/RL: President Hosni Mubarak has sacked his government and vowed to introduce reforms in an attempt to quell the unrest. How were his pledges received by Egypt's political parties and public opinion?
Farideh Naghash: The political parties didn't find that the speech of President Mubarak responds to their demands, not only the demands of the demonstrators but also the demands of the parties. Because the opposition parties, since 30 years ago -- since the beginning of President Mubarak's [presidency] -- [have been asking] for real change. And what happened is that the change came against what these parties had been asking for.
RFE/RL: What do ordinary Egyptians think of Mubarak's concessions?
Naghash: That's why the demonstrations continue: because there is no real change. The regime in Egypt is quite an authoritarian regime. And that's why people still now ask for the resignation of President Mubarak.
RFE/RL: Do you think that Mubarak can solve the crisis by appointing a new government and deploying the army to deter protesters?
Naghash: Of course not, no, because this is a security solution. What we need now sharply is a political solution. There is a big difference between this security approach and a political approach, which must be based on real and radical changes.
RFE/RL: Demonstrators are calling for Mubarak not only to step down, but also to leave the country. Do you think this could help solve the crisis?
Naghash: Not exactly, because this would create a vacuum in the political sphere. Of course, the demonstrators support a transition government that can change the constitution and arrange new elections if he leaves. But he didn't leave, and he will not leave.