'Mubarak to Announce He'll Step Down After Next Election'

Al Arabiya TV reported that Egypt's embattled president will address protesters on Tuesday to tell them he intends to stay in office until next elections to enforce reforms.

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Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will say in a televised speech that he will step down at the next election but would stay in office till then to meet demands of protesters in that period, Al Arabiya TV reported on Tuesday.

It sourced the news to unnamed reports.

It said the president would make the comments in a speech later on Tuesday.

Anti-government riots throughout Egypt have continued unabated for eight days with protesters saying that the demonstrations won't stop until Mubarak ends his 30-year reign over the country.

The embattled president has tried to appease protesters by demanding that his cabinet resign and electing new officials in their place.

The next presidential election is scheduled for September. Until now, officials had indicated Mubarak, 82, would likely run for a sixth six-year term of office or in another scenario, that he is grooming his son Gamal to take over the office in his place.

The government's opposition, embracing the banned Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood, Christians, intellectuals and others, began to coalesce around the figure of Mohamed ElBaradei, a Nobel Peace laureate for his work as head of the UN nuclear agency.

Anti-government protesters demonstrate in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt on Feb. 1, 2011. Credit: AP

ElBaradei said on Tuesday Mubarak must leave Egypt before the reformist opposition would start talks with the government on the future of the Arab world's most populous nation.

"There can be dialogue but it has to come after the demands of the people are met and the first of those is that President Mubarak leaves," he told Al Arabiya television.

Mubarak sacked his cabinet on Saturday after days of unprecedented demonstrations, appointing former air force chief Ahmed Shafiq as his new prime minister. But Shafiq has yet to name his cabinet.

While the embattled president has said that he would press reforms through with the new government, he has made it clear that he has no intention of leaving office.

Mubarak, left, and Suleiman, center, seen on Egyptian state TV.Credit: AP

Mubarak has not received the world-wide support that he may have expected in the wake of the riots which have left a reported 100 dead and over 1,000 injured.

Although the United States, a strong ally of Egypt, has been careful not to take sides, the White House has called for fair and free elections in response to the unrest.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs dismissed Mubarak's move to appoint a new government, saying the situation in Egypt calls for action, not appointments.

"This is not about appointments, it's about actions," Gibbs said. "Obviously there is more work to be done ... The way Egypt looks and operates must change," Gibbs said.

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