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Mubarak Staying?

The New York Times lede:

President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt told the Egyptian people Thursday that he would delegate more authority to his vice president, Omar Suleiman, but that he would not resign his post, contradicting earlier reports that he would step aside and surprising hundreds of thousands of demonstrators gathered to hail his departure from the political scene.

From the BBC:

Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak has said he will stay in office and transfer all power only after September's presidential election.

His comments in a national TV address confounded earlier reports that he was preparing to stand down immediately.

Mr Mubarak said he would delegate some powers to Vice-President Omar Suleiman, but would ignore "diktats from abroad".

As our reporter Eric Lach just remarked in our staff Skype chat: "Rile up an anxious, squeezed crowd of thousands in the middle of the night--what could go wrong?"

Agence France-Presse:

Protesters in central Cairo's Tahrir Square reacted with fury on Thursday when President Hosni Mubarak failed to announce his immediate resignation, demanding the army join them in revolt.

Hundreds of protesters took off their shoes and brandished them at the screen on which they had seen Mubarak's speech, an insult in Arab societies, and others chanted: "Down with Mubarak, leave, leave!"

About The Author

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David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.