(Reuters) - Here are excerpts from President Hosni Mubarak’s speech to the nation on Thursday.
“I speak to the youth of Egypt from the depth of my heart, I deeply cherish you as a symbol, a new Egyptian generation seeking a better future.
“The blood of your martyrs will not be lost and I will not be lenient in punishing those responsible for it, with the all strictness and seriousness.
“I say to the families of the victims, I have felt all the pain you felt.”
“There is no shame in hearing your voices and opinions, but I refuse any and all dictations from abroad, wherever it came from and under any justification or pretext.”
“I have said in many words that cannot be misinterpreted that I will not run for a next presidential term, having been satisfied with what I have given this country in more than 60 years of war and peace.”
“I have also said that I will continue to shoulder my responsibility in protecting the constitution and the interests of the people until a transfer of power and responsibility is implemented. To whoever the electorate choose in September, in free and honest elections that will be guaranteed with freedom and fairness, this is a pledge that I have made in front of God and the nation and I will preserve it until the people of Egypt reach security and stability.”
“I have presented today a request to amend six articles of the constitution, 76, 77, 88, 93, 189, in addition to cancelling article 179, with an assertion of our commitment to do more to subsequently present a request to amend more articles as recommended by the constitutional committee, in line with the necessities and justifications it sees.”
“These amendments aim as a priority to define the conditions of being nominated to run for the presidential election, and to have a definite term for the president so that there will be a rotation of power, and to enhance the regulations to supervise the elections and ensure their freedom and honesty.”
“And as for scrapping article 179 of the constitution, it is aimed at redressing the required balance between protecting the nation from terrorism and ensuring the respect of civic rights and freedoms that will open the door for ending the emergency law whenever tranquility and stability are restored and the appropriate circumstances are available to lift it.”
“In any case I am aware of the dangerous and difficult crossroads now, and out of conviction that Egypt is passing through a critical moment in its history that requires all of us to put the interests of the country uppermost, and also to put Egypt first, above any consideration, so I delegate to the vice president of the republic the prerogatives of the president of the republic in a manner that is fixed by the constitution.”
“I say it again that I have lived for the sake of this nation, protecting the nation and carrying my responsibilities and Egypt will remain above any individual and above everybody.”
“Egypt is the land of life and death ... I and Egypt will not part until I am buried in its soil.”
Translating by Samia Nakhoul and Dina Zayed