Mubarak has just finished speaking. His remarks were more or less as predicted.

Saying "I never wanted power or prestige" he said. He continued:

"I will say in all honesty, and without looking at this particular situation, that I was not intent on standing for the next elections because I have spent enough time serving Egypt, and I am now careful to conclude my work for Egypt by presenting Egypt to the next government in a constitutional way that will protect Egypt."

The key bit may, however, have been the first part of the speech, where Mubarak charged that the protests, while legitimate in their origins, have been hijacked "by those who wanted to exploit the situation to create chaos and destroy the constitution." The message here is that Mubarak does not believe that the demonstrators in Cairo, Alexandria and other cities are truly representative of the Egyptian public.

That conclusion on his part makes his bottom line unsurprising: Mubarak intends to stay and serve out his term. He called for democratic reforms and changes to the constitution, but indicated that he plans to be the person who oversees these between now and the fall.

Will this be enough? We should have a better sense in 24 hours or so, but it is worth noting that CNN is reporting that the crowd in Tahrir, after watching the speech on a giant TV, began chanting "We're not leaving."

 


Comments


Comments are closed.