Mubarak maintains that he will not step down early

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak declared Thursday in the wake of increasing pressure that he had transferred all effective powers of the presidency to Vice President Omar Suleiman.  However, Mubarak maintained his previous position that he will not step down until his term officially ends in September.

Earlier reports had indicated that Mubarak would indeed be stepping down.  Crowds gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square anticipating a speech announcing Mubarak’s resignation, only to hear that Mubarak would be not be stepping down.  The crowd began to shout, “get out” and “leave” as the news spread throughout the Square.

Vice President Suleiman called on the youth of Egypt to go home and to “not listen to the satellite television stations whose main purpose is to fuel sedition and drive a wedge among the people.”  President Obama said early Thursday that the Untied States supports an “orderly and genuine transfer to democracy in Egypt.”