Mubarak Says He Won't Seek Re-Election

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Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced he will not run for another term as the country's leader, but will remain in office until elections in September -- continuing to upset protestors who want him to leave office immediately. 

Addressing his country Tuesday evening, Mubarak said he has, "Spent enough time serving Egypt," and will devote the next few months of his term to a "peaceful" transfer of power.

"In all sincerity, regardless of the current circumstances, I never intended to be a candidate for another term," he said.

Click play to watch the earlier report from Efrem Graham.  Also, CBN News Sr. International Correspondent George Thomas gave reation to Mubarak's announcement.  Click here for his comments.

CBN News Mideast Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell offered first-hand perspective of the Egyptian protests on the Feb. 1 edition of The 700 Club. Click here for his comments.

A senior U.S. official said Frank Wisner, the special envoy dispatched to Egypt, told Mubarack his presidency is coming to an end and urged him to prepare for an "orderly transition to real democracy."

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators flooded Cairo's Tahrir Square Tuesday on the eighth day of protests aimed at ending Mubarak's 30-year rule.

As Mubarak spoke, angry chants of, "We will be here Thursday! We will be here Friday! We are not leaving!" erupted in the streets.

"This is the end for him. It's time," said Musab Galal, a 23-year-old unemployed university graduate who came by minibus with his friends from the Nile Delta city of Menoufiya.

As the protest entered its second week, the government reportedly cut off Internet connections and cancelled national train service to Alexandria where a similar march is planned. Cell phone service may also be cancelled again.

Late Monday, Google announced it would provide a number where people could leave a voice message that would be posted on Twitter.

"Either Mubarak will step down or there will be more violence," said evacuee Samuel Gerstin. "And if it gets worse I don't want to be there."

But Egypt's armed forces, deployed around Tahrir Square in tanks and on foot early Tuesday, issued a statement Monday night promising not to fire on protestors. 

"The presence of the armed forces in the Egyptian streets is for your benefit to protect your safety and peace," a government spokesman read.

"Your armed forces, who are aware of the legitimacy of your demands and are keen to assume their responsibility in protecting the nation and the citizens, affirms that freedom of expression through peaceful means is guaranteed to everyone," he said.

Monday evening's broadcast also featured newly-appointed Vice President Omar Suleiman who said the president directed him to meet with "political forces" immediately to address constitutional and legislative reforms. 

What began as relatively peaceful demonstrations over widespread poverty, rampant unemployment, authoritarian rule and corruption turned violent as angry protesters set fire to buildings and vehicles and armed gangs roamed the streets pillaging and looting.

The massive demonstrations with all its ramifications has cost nearly $12 billion, Egyptian state television reported.

In a sign of deepening concern over the situation, the U.S. has ordered all non-essential government personnel and their families to vacate Egypt.

More than 1,200 Americans have already been evacuated from the volitile region on chartered flights. Eight more flights have been planned for Tuesday. 

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Efrem Graham

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Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.