Here’s my rough transcription of a rough translation of Mubarak’s surprise speech:
I have been closely monitoring the demonstrations and the people’s demands. I regret the innocent casualties and victims on both sides — the citizens and the police personnel. These demonstrations turned into acts of riots, threatening the public order, and imperiling the public life of the Egyptian citizens. These demonstrations and what we witnessed early of riots staged over the past few years wouldn’t have taken place without the huge space and big room of freedom of expression and freedom of press and many other forms of freedoms that was granted to the Egyptian people by the reforms the Egyptians are embracing and the unparalleled joining of the forces of society. In my capacity of the president of the republic, I always stressed that sovereignty will be to the people. And I will always adhere to the right to the freedom of expression so long as it is within the law. While I take the side of citizens’ freedoms to express their views, I also similarly adhere to defending Egypt’s stability and security. Egypt is the biggest country in the region in terms of population; it is governed by the constitution and the rule of law and we should be cautious and think of the many examples of the people around us who drove people to chaos or mayhem where they gained no democracy. These demonstrations came to suppress the lawful aspirations for more lawful democracy.
And I am also aware of the degree of the suffering of the Egyptian people, to which I am working day after day. However the problems facing us and the goals facing us cannot be achieved through violence or chaos. They can only be achieved by national dialog and conscious and concerted efforts. Egypt must steer away from those who entice chaos and arson and knocking down what we have been building. I believe we will continue our political, economical, and social reforms, for a free and democratic Egyptian society, embracing modern principles and opening to the modern world.
I have taken the side and will always be taking the side of the poor people of Egypt, convinced that the economy is too precious to be left to economists alone. I have speeded economic reforms up to lift the sufferings of the people. Our plans to combat unemployment and provide more educational services will remain conditional on our efforts to maintain Egypt secure and stable, a homeland of a civilized people, to carry it to the future, not leave it to deteriorate. We will go above the arsons and the lootings that are further plots to undermine the stability of our nation. I call on every Egyptian to work for the public interest, and to stand up for their country; not by sitting ablaze, nor by assaulting private and public property. Not by this can we achieve the aspirations of the people. Yet these aspirations can be achieved for a better future by way of dialog and genuine efforts for public good.
My fellow citizens I address you not only as president but as an Egyptian; my faith put me under the service of this country — we have weathered hard times and surmounted these obstacles, when we stood up for them — one people, one nation. The course to reform, which we have embraced, has no point of return. We will continue steadily by new steps emphasizing our respect to the rule of law, new steps toward more democracy, more freedoms to citizens. New steps to raise the standard of living, more services new steps to stand by the poor. Our options and our goals will define the shape of our futures and we have no other alternative to achieve them but to embrace genuine work, consciousness, and struggle. We will continue what we have earned and embark on this, cautious of the future of the nations, knowing that the incidents of the past few days have left the majority of the Egyptian people fearing for Egypt’s future, cautious of further mayhem and destruction.
I, shouldering my first responsibility to maintain the homeland security and their citizens’ safety, cannot tolerate and cannot allow this fear to grip this people. I wouldn’t allow this to haunt the future
I have requested the government to step down today. And I will designate a new government as of tomorrow to shoulder new duties and to account for priorities of the upcoming era. I will not be lax or tolerant I will take all the steps to ensure stability. God bless.