Reports: Mubarak Will Speak; Hand Over Power?
NOTE: You can listen to our live coverage here.
Breaking news from Egypt (4:20 p.m. ET): President Hosni Mubarak just addressed his nation and after hours of expectations that he might say he was stepping aside immediately, he did not do that — even though he said he has transferred authority to his vice president. Thousands of protesters in Cairo's Tahrir Square are visibly furious. Our updates will flow into the box below automatically. If you look below the box, you can read our original post and two earlier updates.
Our original post:
There are varying reports about how far Mubarak will go. Here's what is being said by two of Britain's leading news outlets:
The new leader of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's political party has told Britain's Channel 4 News that he expects the president to announce tonight that he is stepping aside and handing power over to Vice President Omar Suleiman.
In a series of messages on her Twitter page, Channel 4's Lindsey Hilsum said that:
— "Dr Badrawi, SecGen of NDP, just told me he expects President Mubarak to pass his powers to his Vice President tonight"
— "SecGen of Pres Mubarak's party told me to expect #Mubarak to announce he's stepping aside in bdcast tonight"
— "Hossam Badrawi to @channel4news: I'm expecting President Mubarak to transmit his authority to Vice President tonight."
She's referring to Hossam Badrawi, the National Democratic Party's new leader.
The BBC's Lyse Doucet, however, says on her Twitter page that she "just spoke Badrawi NDP: Mubarak 'probably' speak tonite, & 'hopes' he hands over powers. Confirmed its being discussed."
For 17 days, protesters have been demanding that Mubarak step down. If he does, they may not be satisfied with Suleiman as a replacement. Suleiman has long been one of Mubarak's closest aides and head of intelligence in Egypt.
Last week, Mubarak said he would remain in place until after a successor is elected in September.
Update at 10:36 a.m. ET: This isn't a confirmation, but is interesting. Wael Ghonim, the young Google executive who has become a symbol of the revolution, just posted this on his Twitter page:
"Mission accomplished. Thanks to all the brave young Egyptians."
Update at 10:32 a.m. ET: The BBC adds that "earlier, Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq told BBC Arabic that the scenario of President Mubarak stepping down was being discussed." Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.