Defying the will of the people that have come out in their millions throughout Egypt in premature celebration of President Mubarak's widely rumored resignation.
Mubarak announced in his speech on Egyptian state TV tonight that we would not step down as president as the people have been demanding.
"I will not relent in punishing those responsible for the violence."
"The blood of those killed in the violence will not be wasted."
"I will not bow to outside pressure"
"I will remain in office until elections."
He plans on making reforms and is calling for amendments to six sections of the constitution.
He will remain on as president but transfer his powers to his new vice president and longtime intelligence chief Omar Soleiman.
He repeated many time that he would not bow to outside powers which sound like a direct response to earlier reports that US officials had told him to resign.
Egyptian Vice President Suleiman spoke next on Egyptian state TV at 11:34pm Cairo time.
Suleiman request the help of one and all in restoring normal life.The tyrant remains! They have changed nothing! They have learned nothing!
He commented to an orderly transfer of power under the constitution.
He calls on all his citizens to look forward to the future.
We cannot allow those plotting intimidation ..
"I call on the youth of Egypt. Go back home. Go back to to your work. Let us hold hands and build the new Egypt. do not listen to the foreign satellite TV stations. They will only mislead you."
The anger of the people in the streets is incredible.
The Revolution starts tomorrow! The turn out of Egyptian people this Friday will be awesome!
But what will the army do?
Egypt's Supreme Military Council has had only three public meetings in it's history. The first one was in 1967, the second was in 1973 and the third took place today. In it they announced that they had convened the meeting in response to the current political turmoil and that they would continue to convene such meetings. It is most significant that Mubarak didn't chair the meeting as he normally would have. Instead the meeting was chaired by Defense Minister Mohamed Tantawi. The statement says
"Based on the responsibility of the armed forces and its commitment to protect the people and its keenness to protect the nation... and in support of the legitimate demands of the people [the army] will continue meeting on a continuous basis to examine measures to be taken to protect the nation and its gains and the ambitions of the great Egyptian people,"Mubarak has stepped down as Commander-in-Chief of the Army!
This meeting took place amidst growing rumors from multiple sources that President Mubarak will step down from the presidency this evening and turn power over to his new Vice President and Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman. Other rumors have the army or taking over.
The government has announce that President Mubarak will make a major speech live to the nation from his palace this evening. This is amidst rumors that he has already fled to the Red Sea.
Stay Tuned! This is a fast moving story that we will be updating often today.
Here are some of the most recent tweets we are receiving at WL Central:
Greg Mitchell: Well, Mubarak live speech will get biggest audience ever for any program worldwide, I would guess...The army is meeting has not ended! They Supreme Military Council is on continuing meeting. A former NDP member on AJ thinks this means that Mubarak will turn over power to the military.
matthew cassel:Tahrir is absolutely packed, I think if people get any more excited all of central Cairo could explode
RT @AJELive: NDP chief reportedly stopped Mubarak making speech, handing power in #Egypt to VP Suleiman.
DailyNewsEgypt: Armed Forces Council says in first statement it will continue convening, reiterates support of Egyptian people and their demands
Reuters: NBC reporting Mubarak will step down tonight
Reuters FLASH: Senior military officer in Tahrir tells protesters demanding Mubarak leave: "Everything you want will be realized"
This is the latest from Al Jazeera at this hour: [7:50pm Cairo]
Hassam Badrawi, the secretary general of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), told the BBC and Channel 4 News on that he expected Mubarak to hand over his powers to Omar Suleiman, the vice-president.10:40am pst US President Obama just called for an "orderly and genuine transition in Egypt." No clue as to what is happening.
"I think the right thing to do now is to take the action that would satisfy ... protesters," Badrawi told BBC television in a live interview.
Ahmed Shafiq, the country's prime minister, also told the BBC that the president may step down on Thursday evening, and that the situation would be "clarified soon". He told the Reuters news agency, however, that Mubarak remained in control, and that "everything is still in the hands of the president".
However, Anas el-Fekky, Egypt's information minister, denied all reports of Mubarak resigning.
"The president is still in power and he is not stepping down," el-Fekky told Reuters. "The president is not stepping down and everything you heard in the media is a rumor."