Mubarak: Will delegate power to VP but will remain until election
Update 2105 UTC, 11:05 pm Cairo, 4:05 pm ET - President Mubarak spoke live through Egyptian Television stating that he intends to remain President of Egypt until the national election that will take place in September 2011. He spoke to the Egyptian people calling himself a father figure toward the people as his children. He related that he will not be influenced by outside sources, possibly referring to the pressure he has received from the United States, and will not step down. He stated that he will effectively delegate authority to his unelected Vice-president, Omar Suleiman, who was sworn in just short of two weeks ago.
Mubarak, stated that he wanted free and fare elections and to allow that process to provide a smooth transition to a new power after his nearly thirty year rein. He stated that he would eventually lift the state of emergency when conditions warranted it. Further he stated that he would provide for amendments or revocation of certain amendments to the Egyptian constitution.
Mubarak apologized to the people of Egypt for making mistakes, but with the caveat all leader make mistakes in their political careers. He told viewers that he would not seek to prosecute the protesters for the uprising.
As Mubarak continued speaking, it was clear that the protesters where increasingly unhappy with the content and tone of the speech. Viewing the crowd by Al Jazeera, one could see protesters with fists in the air and many began taking off their shoes and raising them above their heads. This writers understanding is that the removal of shoes is an indication of disdain.
The volume and tone of the crowd changed as the speech progressed. One area of note is when President Mubarak began speaking about himself. He related that he was young as well, served in the Military, fought for Egypt, and had severed the people for over sixty years of his life. Reminiscent of his previous speech when the protests began. While he was speaking about his personal sacrifices for Egypt the crowd sounded as though an umpire made a failed call at a football game. The boos and hisses along with chants erupted more so than at any other time in the protests two week duration.
The President told Egyptians that the Protests have caused great costs economically and the continuation will only make the situation worse. He said, "We are all in the same ditch".
Later the Vice-President appeared on State Television telling the people to, "Go Home" and not watch, "Satellite Television" (probably referring to Al Jazeera) as they are only there to compel people to rise up for ratings.
Following these speeches, some of the people said they would appeal to military leaders for intervention. Others say that they will continue to protest until their demands are met, the highest of those is the departure of President Mubarak.
Protests are expected to increase in number many fold following Friday prayers.
NowPublic contributor Karen Hatter provided a link to the Transcript: Hosni Mubarak TV address to Egypt
Egypt’s President Mubarak is expected to give a speech some time after 10:00 local time (3:00 p.m. ET) to possibly step down as President after nearly thirty years of rule. (Source: Politisite)
Update: 10:35 p.m. local Cairo time- Reuters is reporting that Al Arabiya says Mubarak will lift emergency law and transfer power to Vice-President . He will amend 5 article of constitution and revoke a 6th.
Update: 9:58 p.m. local Cairo time - Reuters flash says Minister of Information says Mubarak is definitely "not" going to step down
Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak looked likely to step down on Thursday after the military high command took control of a nation gripped by more than two weeks of unprecedented protests in what some said was a military coup.
Read full coverage at Mubarak likely to quit, opponents fear coup | Reuters.
- Watch Al Jazeera English Live: iPhone, Android, Online & Satellite
- Egypt Brotherhood talks of coup, but retracts comment www.reuters.com
- Factbox: The changing U.S. reaction to Egypt’s crisis www.reuters.com
- Chaos in Egypt: Mubarak about to step down? Update: Transferring
- Egypt: Children, Fish and Cats Ask Mubarak to Leave · Global Voices
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