Bowing to eight days of protests, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced Tuesday night that he will hand over power to an elected successor "in a constitutional way" when his term ends in September."My first responsibility now is to restore the stability and security of the homeland, to achieve a peaceful transition of power in an environment that will protect Egypt and Egyptians and which will allow for the responsibility to be given to whoever the people elect in the forthcoming elections," Mubarak in a televised address Tuesday night.
Mubarak has led Egypt for nearly 30 years since the 1981 assassination of his predecessor, Anwar Sadat, aided by an emergency decree that has allowed him to rule with an iron fist. But following demonstrations that have only grown in the past week, the 82-year-old former air force general told his people Tuesday night, "I have spent enough time serving Egypt.""I will pursue the transfer of power in a way that will fulfil the people's demands, and that this new government will fulfil the people's demands and their hopes for political, economic and social progress," he said.
But protesters demanded that he steps-down immediately.
Opposition leader Ayman Nour called the speech "very depressing." Nour said Mubarak was already expected to step down at the end of his term - but he is believed to be manoeuvring to have his son, Gamal, succeed him.
It comes less than three weeks after a wave of mostly peaceful protests that forced Tunisia's long-time strongman to flee to Saudi Arabia in mid-January.
Source: Dailymirror Sri Lanka 2 Feb 2011