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Despite widespread speculation among media outlets and continued demonstrations in Cairo, Egypt, by more than 100,000 anti-government protesters, the nation’s president, Hosni Mubarak, reaffirmed in a televised speech that he will not resign and will remain in office until elections in September.
“Even as Mr. Mubarak spoke, angry chants were shouted from huge crowds in Cairo who had anticipated his resignation but were instead confronted with a plea from the president to support continued rule by him and his chosen aides,” The New York Times reported. “People waved their shoes in defiance, considered an insulting gesture in the Arab world.”
During President Mubarak’s speech, he announced that he will work to modify articles of the constitution in accord with the demands of the protesters and transfer over power to Vice President Omar Suleiman.
But he also said he will not bow to the demands of outside governments.
“I can tell you that I as the president of the Republic I have to respond to your calls but I am also embarrassed, and I will not accept or listen to any foreign interventions,” he said during the public address translated by the Guardian.
Prior to the announcement, many people had hoped an immediate resignation by Mr. Mubarak would mark the end of Egypt’s massive 17-day-long demonstrations, which have resulted in more than 300 deaths.
For more on the Egyptian crisis and its implications, read “4 Lessons America Can Learn from the Riots in Egypt.”