By Arab News
A coalition of opposition groups have told the Egyptian government that they will only begin talks on a transition to democracy once beleaguered President Hosni Mubarak stands down, the Muslim Brotherhood said on Tuesday. “Our first demand is that Mubarak goes. Only after that can dialogue start with the military establishment on the details of a peaceful transition of power,” said Mohammed Al-Beltagi, a former member of Parliament from the Brotherhood.
Beltagi said the opposition was operating under an umbrella group, the National Committee for Following up the People’s Demands, which includes the Brotherhood, the National Association for Change headed by Mohamed El-Baradei, political parties and prominent figures including Coptic Christians.
Beltagi’s comments were echoed by El-Baradei and another opposition official.
Mubarak should step down by Friday, El-Baradei, who is emerging as a leader of anti-regime protests, told Al-Arabiya satellite channel.
“What I have heard (from protesters) is that they want this to end, if not today (Tuesday), then by Friday maximum,” said El-Baradei, adding that the Egyptians have marked Friday as “departure day.”
“I hope President Mubarak goes before this and leaves the country after 30 years of rule… I don’t think he wants to see more blood.”