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Mubarak speaks, but little changes

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) -- Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak addressed his country Thursday night amid rumors that he might step down, sparking dramatic change. He did not, and in the end, what had changed was little more than the belief that Mubarak would relinquish power.

-- Mubarak stood firm, sweeping away hours of speculation that his resignation was imminent. "I am going to adhere ... to the decision of shouldering the responsibility in defending the constitution and the national interest of the people until the transfer of power and the transfer of responsibility, which is going to be to the one that the people will choose as their leader in transparent and free elections where guarantees are going to be there for full transparency and for freedom," he said.

-- The "dialogue" begun last week will continue until a "peaceful transfer of power" is completed after the September elections.

-- Two committees have been established: One committee is looking at changes to be made to the Egyptian Constitution, most of which have to do with clearing the way to open the elections to opposition politicians. An investigative committee is delving into violence that has resulted in more than 300 deaths. Mubarak promised the perpetrators would be severely punished.

-- A preliminary report on the constitutional changes recommends modifications to several articles regarding elections, and the repeal of an article that allows the president to try people suspected of terrorism connections in military courts.

-- Mubarak announced that he would "delegate powers" to his vice president, Omar Suleiman, in accordance with the constitution. This move puts Suleiman in charge of the day-to-day duties of the president, including control over the Interior Department and police, but reserves the power to ask for constitutional amendments, dismiss parliament or change the structure of the government for the president alone. Egypt's ambassador to the United States, Sameh Shourky, said that Suleiman was now "de facto president" but that Murabak retains the legal title.

-- After Mubarak's speech, the protesters are, if anything, more angry. They want Mubarak out, and they say they won't stop until he is.