New leader in Egypt’s future

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
has said that he will not stand for re-election in September, as protests
against his rule grow.

Speaking on state TV, Mr Mubarak
promised constitutional reform, but said he wanted to stay until the end of his
current presidential term.

The announcement came as tens of
thousands rallied in central Cairo urging him to step down immediately.

The demonstration was the biggest
since protests began last week.

Mr Mubarak said he would devote his
remaining time in power to ensuring a peaceful transition of power to his
successor.

But he criticised the protests,
saying what began as a civilised phenomenon turned into a violent event
controlled by political cowards.

He said he had offered to meet all
parties but there were political powers that had refused dialogue.

Leaders of the protests had called
on Mr Mubarak to step down by Friday, when demonstrators were planning to march
on the presidential palace.

WORLDstory

An effigy depicting President Hosni Mubarak is seen hanging on a traffic light as anti-government protesters demonstrate in Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, Egypt Tuesday.
Photo: msnbc.com