FP: But so far there have been no fundamental concessions.
MB: So far, I think the whole process is a faulty process. You don't get the fox to be in charge of the chicken coop. You don't give the outgoing regime -- which has been practicing dictatorship, is an authoritarian system, it's a bunch of military people -- the task of changing Egypt into a second republic, a new Egypt with democracy, freedom, rights, etc.
I don't think they even understand what it means to be a democracy. As you heard Omar Suleiman saying, "We don't have the culture [of democracy]…"
FP: So you don't have any confidence that he can be the steward of a democratic transition?
MB: No. I don't have any confidence. The process is completely faulty, the way I see it. They don't understand, let alone are willing to move Egypt into democracy, unless we keep kicking their behinds.
And that's what happened. You saw Mubarak's first statement was saying, "We'll give you a new government" -- same old, worn-out tactics. A new government but no change of policy and the same people from his own party. They were kicked out and they said they would change the Constitution to allow more people to run. They got kicked out again and then they would say, "Well, Mubarak will not run." Then they abolished the whole leadership of the party.
It is not the sign of a regime, or whatever's left of it, that is ready to buy into real change. They are talking, again, to the established parties who have no influence, have no credibility in the street, most of them. The people who staged that revolution are not sitting around the table. The young people are not sitting around the table.
FP: What would your advice be to the young people in Tahrir Square? What do you tell them when you meet with them? To stay there until their demands are met?
MB: Yes, of course. I tell them that we have to keep pushing, we have to keep pushing until the demands are met. The first demand I think, and it's becoming almost an obsession, is for Mubarak to go. And that is, it's an emotional issue. But people understand that the regime is Mubarak, it's one person. And the departure of Mubarak will signal that we are ushered into a new Egypt. I think this is nonnegotiable. I don't think they will leave the street. And it's not only Tahrir; [it's] everywhere else. This has become the No. 1 demand. And the demand, of course, that they take charge of this process; it's the incoming regime who should take charge of the transitional period and not the outgoing regime. There is a huge issue of credibility. There is no credibility in either Mubarak or Suleiman or anybody who is associated with that regime.
It's an opaque process; it's a monologue; it's not a dialogue. And they still think they are in power while everybody knows they are completely weak and the regime is melting away.
So, my advice now to the young people and others is that we need to take charge of this transitional period of a year, and I am suggesting a presidential council of three people, a transitional government of national salvation, national unity under a caretaker government of people who have sterling reputations, have experience, and then prepare the country for free and fair elections. Abolish this Constitution, which is not worth the paper it's written on. Abolish the rigged parliament. We have to go through whatever you call it, popular legitimacy, revolutionary legitimacy.
Unfortunately, this is the only way out to build up again the pillars [of democracy]: a new constitution which is really democratic, with a president who has checks and balances [on him], limited power, a true parliament that has the power of the purse and oversight, an independent judiciary -- all that comes with any democratic system.
But I don't think that process is working. Unfortunately, again, many of the Western countries including the United States have been continuing to provide life support to [Mubarak]…