Mubarak proclaimed that he will step down after his term ends in September and will not contest the polls for the next term. US President Barack Obama also stepped up pressure forcing Mubarak to tread the path of democracy.
Mubarak in his address on television said, “The protests have been manipulated by political forces. I have initiated a new government which will respond to the needs of the younger people of the country. I never wanted power or prestige. My first responsibility now is to restore security and stability of the homeland. I was not intending to stand for the upcoming elections. I ask the parliament to speed up the election procedures. I want to conclude my work for Egypt by presenting Egypt to the next govt. Egypt will come out of these circumstances much stronger than before."
Obama in his response on the volatile situation in Egypt said that the US was ready to extend its helping hand to the Egyptians. “Egypt will take its own decision on their President," he added.
Egypt's Opposition leader Mohamed Elbaradei however was adamant in his approach and said that Mubarak's vow to step down was an “act of deception." He said, “It's an act of deception by a dictator who doesn't want to go. He doesn't want to listen to the people...he is going to extend the agony for 6-7 months. He will continue to polarise the country. People could get more angry and resort to violence. He just have to let go...he won't only be blamed as the president but he will be a dead man walking. I don't understand the reason behind 6-7 months of instability rather than prepare the ground for a new Egypt."
The protestors are not planning to take the decision lying down and intends to continue their protests till they see Mubarak step down. Yesterday saw a huge number of Egyptians take to the streets in an organized 'million man march', but reports say that over 2 million actually participated in Cairo's Tahrir Square.
(With inputs from agencies)