msnbc | February 10, 2011
>>> egypt. as you know, it's been a powder keg there in cairo and other parts of that country. live pictures here coming from al jazeera . it's 5:25 p.m . local time . as you can see, protesters still in the streets. what we are hearing at this moment, according to the associated press, is that the head of egypt 's ruling party saying that he expects president mubarak to respond to protester demands. these protests that now have been going on for weeks. the question is what might that response be coming from president mubarak . will he announce that he will resign, which many of the protesters have been asking for as well as of late the entire cabinet to step down, the entire leading group of that country to step down because president mubarak not being sufficient enough at this time. originally at the start of these protests that we've been watching live coming out of cairo , the request from the opposition, which has been numerous, although you have heard of the muslim brotherhood as well as god and waft, all of those comprising groups that have come together saying they do not want president mubarak to be leading the country anymore. we are continuing to watch of course the situation. we're also hearing that a senior army commander has told egypt protesters that all their demands will be met. now that's quite an extreme list, if you will, if you're sitting in the seat of president mubarak because they have asked for him to step down as well as his lieutenants. what we're also hearing is, again, that one of the high-ranking sources inside the president's office telling us here at nbc news that tonight is the decisive night and that mubarak will step down. now, omar suleiman , the vice president, will take over as then the leader of the country, although within recent days, within recent, i should say hours, within the last 24 hours , there have been calls from those within the country that even omar suleiman , who is the vice president, and according to what we're hearing at this moment, if he were to become president, that the opposition still would want him down. again, watching those live pictures coming out of cairo . let's go to jacob right now. jacob is from our translation desk. jacob , you have been watching this entire event transpire overall of the networks, al jazeera being one of them, as well as state-run tv. you've been the key to translating. what is happening on the ground? what are you seeing right now?
>> over the past few minutes we heard three statements. one from the secretary general of the national democratic party who was recently appointed. he said that mubarak might respond to people's demands before friday. the second statement came from the prime minister of egypt . he said that he expects the president to come out and speak about people's demands before friday as well. also we heard from a third person, who is a colonel -- or a lieutenant in tahrir square. he was telling protesters that the president might respond to their demands.
>> so might respond to their demands. when you have been watching the coverage coming out of that area there in arabic, what have you been able to translate in terms of what they're saying, what the protesters are doing? is there anything they're doing different today or yesterday that might have brought on this possibility of an announcement by president mubarak ?
>> well, yes. the protesters were talking about marching towards the presidential palace tomorrow after friday prayer. this is a big thing. once they march, there is nothing -- no one can stop them. and the army started deploying their forces today around the egyptian presidential palace . so there is fear that if they were able to do that, they will take down the president on their own.
>> and of note, as we all know, is that the army -- there were days where they were active, there were days when they did stand down. what you're saying is different within the last 24 hours perhaps is that we are seeing the army moving forward. in terms of president mubarak , should he step down, are the reports saying that the opposition comprised of many different groups, would they be satisfied with suleiman as the new leader?
>> well, when president mubarak named suleiman as his vice president, protesters immediately protested that and said no. suleiman is part of that regime and we want him out as well. so there's talks now, we hear from different sources, that they want to transfer power to the army. this is the only -- the only entity that they can trust right now.
>> and that is certainly a change. you and i have been talking as we sit side by side here in the newsroom that that originally was one of the possibilities of quelling some of the oppositions concerns. stan by. we're going to take a little bit of a break and go live to cairo in just a little bit to understand exactly, hopefully, what presidentsitt mubarak will be saying sometime today. at e-trade it's harnessing