The Reuters news service is relaying a report from Al-Arabiya television that Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak will not run for re-election in September. The report also indicates that Mubarak will “stay in office until the next election, to meet the demands of protesters during his term.” Well, okay, the OTHER demands.
The news comes in the wake of conversations between the American ambassador to Egypt and opposition leader Mohammed ElBaradei, which State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley described as “part of our public outreach to convey support for an orderly transition in Egypt.” For Mubarak, this is like checking the want ads and discovering your company is seeking resumes for your job.
Mubarak is scheduled to address the Egyptian populace at some point this afternoon. It remains to be seen if the Al-Arabiya report proves accurate… and if protesters will be satisfied with an announcement he won’t run again, when they’ve spent all day declaring they won’t leave the streets of Cairo until Mubarak leaves office.
Update: President Mubarak has delivered his address, and confirmed that he would not seek re-election, so I removed the question mark from the title of this post.