In a long and rambling speech on state TV, embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said that he has a framework to provide for a peaceful transition to a new regime at the September elections, but that he will remain in power till then.
He said he will eventually transfer power to vice president Omar Suleiman and he also changed certain articles of the constitution to overturn emergency power in the country.
As hundreds of thousands of Egyptian anti-government protesters thronged in Cairo’s Tahrir Square demanding his immediate resignation, Mubarak focused more on some of the criminal acts perpetrated by some demonstrators by saying that “I will not relent to penalize those responsible for the violence.”
He also said “The blood of those killed in the violence will not be wasted,” apparently an indication he would make some reforms as requested by the protesters.
Although he pledged his loyalty to his homeland and that he has “listened to the youth” he also indicated he was “embarrassed” by some of their “wrongdoing.”
More importantly, he said that his actions will not be dictated by or subject to forces or “pressures” from outside the country, “no matter who they are” (a likely reference to the U.S.).
At the conclusion of the speech, the enraged crowds in the square waved their shoes in the air at Mubarak.