Monday, 7 February 2011

Leader quotes just before giving up power

When Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak worried that his country, besieged by mass demonstrations, would dissolve into chaos without him, one could almost hear the voices of similarly threatened leaders, past and present.

Following are quotes from world leaders before giving up their grip on power.

• “I am fed up. After 62 years in public service, I have had enough. I want to go. If I resign now there will be chaos.” Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Thursday.

• “I said in 1987 no presidencies for life. I repeat now no presidencies for life. I refuse to touch the constitution, I will not change the age in the constitution.” Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia, on Jan. 13. The next day he stepped down after more than two decades in power.

• “Apres moi, le deluge.” King of France Louis XV (1710-1774) is believed to have said as he lay dying. As it turned out the French Revolution did not come for another 15 years. The literal translation is “after me, the flood.” But the comment was believed to have meant something along the lines of: after my reign let the destruction come.

• ”I have earned every cent. And in all of my years of public life I have never obstructed justice. People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook. I’ve earned everything I’ve got.” U.S. President Richard Nixon on Nov. 17, 1973 at an Associated Press Managing Editors. He resigned the following August for his role in the Watergate scandal.

• “When I finish they can kill me as I expect. I’m a soldier and I’m ready to go.” General Augusto Pinochet of Chile on Aug. 16, 1984, facing mass protests against his rule. He was defeated in a referendum in 1988 and handed over power peacefully to an elected civilian government in 1990 in what was seen as a model transition from dictatorship to democracy in Latin America.

• “I am president of Iraq by the will of the Iraqi people.” Saddam Hussein of Iraq said defiantly on May 16, 2006, at a court hearing during his trial after being captured by U.S.-led forces. He was executed by hanging on Dec. 30, 2006.


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