Thursday, February 10, 2011

Breaking: Mubarak NOT stepping down - protesters enraged.

Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak said in a national address Tuesday evening that he will not step down until a new president is selected in elections scheduled for September.

Saying a peaceful transfer of power is underway, Mr. Mubarak refused to give in to demands of tens of thousands of anti-government protesters who took to the streets for a 17th straight day.

It is the second time in two weeks that Mubarak told the nation he will stay in office until September.

The dramatic announcement came on state television shortly after 10:45 p.m. in Egypt. Demonstrators in Cairo's main Tahrir Square had earlier danced and sang in jubilation in expecation that Mubarak would resign.

Earlier in the day, Egyptian military officials and members of the ruling party said Mr. Mubarak will "meet protesters' demands."

Egyptians have been calling for the ouster of President Mubarak, 82, who has been in power for nearly 30 years. They have been demanding he leave immediately. He had previously announced he will not seek reelection in a presidential vote scheduled for September.

Earlier in the day, the military's supreme council met without the commander in chief, Mr. Mubarak. The military is due to issue a statement shortly on state television.

More than two weeks since demonstrators first took the streets of Egypt's major cities to demand an end to President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year reign, thousands have gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square amid speculation that he may announce his resignation. Here are the latest developments, as confirmed by CNN:

[Update 11:05 p.m. in Cairo, 4:05 p.m. ET] "This guy is calling for more rage in the country," a protester in Tahrir Square tells CNN's Fred Pleitgen after Mubarak speaks. "This guy doesn't want to leave in peace."

[Update 11:00 p.m. in Cairo, 4:00 p.m. ET] The crowd in Tahrir Square erupts into roars of "get out" as Mubarak announces he will not step down.

"I will not submit to any international pressures," he says. "I love Egypt, I I have worked hard for its renaissance and I have never tried to have more authority, and I think the majority of other people here know very well who Hosni Mubarak is and it hurts my heart when I see and I hear from my own people."

Update 10:55 p.m. in Cairo, 3:55 p.m. ET] "President Hosni Mubarak announced Thursday that he "will follow the track of peaceful transition until September." He also said he will hold accountable those who fomented violence against demonstrators during the past two weeks.

[Update 10:50 p.m. in Cairo, 3:50 p.m. ET] "I will not nominate myself for next the presidential election and I will be satisfied with what I have done to the country and the homeland for more than 60 years during years of peace and war," Mubarak says.

[Update 10:45 p.m. in Cairo, 3:45 p.m. ET] "I will respond to your demands and your voices and this is a commitment that cannot be reversed. I am committed to carrying out my promises in all credibility," President Hosni Mubarak says in a televised address.

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