Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said he would not run again and pledged a peaceful transition to his successor.
In an address late Tuesday night, Mubarak said he had already decided not to run before the eruption last week of an uprising that called for the end of his 30-year autocracy.
“I am totally keen on ending my career,” he said in remarks translated by Al Jazeera English. “I tell you in plain terms that in the few months remaining in my current term I will work on the procedures for the transition of power.”
Presidential elections were set for September, but opposition leaders have already said Mubarak must step down immediately.
In his speech, Mubarak said the uprising had its roots in legitimate claims by “honest youth” but had since been manipulated by “political forces” that have led to violence.
He excoriated opponents who have rejected his calls to negotiate the terms of the transfer of power, and swore not to leave.
“I will die on the soil of Egypt that I have defended and will be judged by history,” he said.
Mubarak’s speech came after President Obama reportedly urged him not to run in the coming elections.
Past elections were widely seen as rigged in Mubarak’s favor.