02/10/2011, 00.00
EGYPT
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Mubarak announces on TV that he will stay on until September

The Egyptian president makes the announcement at the end of a chaotic day, filled with rumours about his imminent resignation and departure from the country. He pledges “free and transparent” elections. The armed forces issue a statement promising to take the “necessary measures to protect the nation”.

Cairo (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Hosni Mubarak will not resign. He will transfer power only after next September’s presidential elections. The Egyptian president made the announcement on state television last night at the end of a day filled with various rumours, including claims that he was planning to resign, that he had left the country or was going to leave.

Mubarak said he would delegate some powers to Vice President Omar Suleiman, but insisted that he was going to disregard foreign diktats. However, thousands of people reacted to the announcement with angry protests in downtown Cairo.

The president apologised to the families of demonstrators killed during recent protests, and promised to punish those responsible.  "I express a commitment to carry on and protect the constitution and the people and transfer power to whomever is elected next September in free and transparent elections." Mubarak said in his speech.

The supreme council of the armed forces also issued a statement, saying they had started taking “necessary measures to protect the nation”.

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