Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak (AP PHOTO)
Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak (AP PHOTO)

Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak said in a national address Tuesday evening that he will not step down until a new president is selected in elections scheduled for September. He added that some powers are being transferred to Egypt’s vice-president.

Saying a peaceful transfer of power is underway, Mr. Mubarak refused to give in to demands of tens of thousands of anti-government protesters who took to the streets for a 17th straight day to demand his immediate resignation.

Demonstrators in Cairo’s main Tahrir Square jeered and chanted “get out” during the speech. They had earlier danced in expectation that Mubarak would resign.

It was the second time in two weeks that Mubarak told the nation he will stay in office until September.

His speech came on state television shortly after 10:45 p.m. in Egypt.

Earlier in the day, Egyptian military officials and members of the ruling party said Mr. Mubarak will “meet protesters’ demands.”

Egyptians have been calling for the ouster of President Mubarak, 82, who has been in power for nearly 30 years.  They have been demanding he leave immediately.

Earlier in the day, the military’s supreme council met without the commander in chief, Mr. Mubarak. The military is due to issue a statement shortly on state television.

The military earlier announced on state television it supports the “legitimate demands of the people.”  A spokesman said the council was exploring what measures could be made to “safeguard” the nation and its people.

Doctors in white lab coats and lawyers in black robes had earlier flooded into Tahrir Square, linking striking workers with anti-government protesters.

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