President Hosni Mubarak has dashed the hopes of hundreds of thousands of Egyptians waiting for what they thought would be his resignation speech by defiantly announcing that he would not bow to domestic or foreign pressure to quit.
In a televised address that appears to have set the stage for further confrontation on the streets – as well as heightened tensions with the US – Mubarak said he would hand powers to his deputy, Omar Suleiman, but will stay on as president with his regime controlling the transition to free elections.
Although technically president in name only, Mubarak said he will stay in office until an orderly transition of power, planned for September. He repeated a pledge not to seek re-election and said there was no going back on a commitment to long term political reform, after the two weeks of protests demanding his resignation. Ominously, he referred to the army playing a role in ensuring an orderly transfer of power. More...