WASHINGTON — Showing impatience, US President Barack Obama openly and sharply questioned on Thursday whether Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's pledge to shift power to his vice president is an "immediate, meaningful or sufficient" sign of reform for a country in upheaval.
Without naming Mubarak, Obama issued a written statement that criticized the leader for not offering clarity to his people or a concrete path to democracy. He urged the Egyptian government leaders to do so, declaring: "They have not yet seized that opportunity."
Obama's comments came after Mubarak, in a televised speech, refused to step down despite intense speculation that he was on the brink of ouster. He said he was delegating powers to Vice President Omar Suleiman, yet Mubarak remained president and defiantly said he would continue as president until a successor had been elected to replace him in September. Protesters were shocked, saddened and enraged.