Egypt's Leaders "Disappointed" by Mubarak, Welcome Change

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak appears on state television Feb. 1, 2011. CBS

Ayman Nour, leader of the Al-Ghad party, told CBS News that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's announcement that he would remain in power but not seek re-election was a "maneuver" rather than a reaction to the revolution that swept the country.

(Watch at left a CBS News special report on Mubarak's announcement)

Nour described the speech as "extremely disappointing" and said the opposition has already set their demands and the president's speech did not satisfy any of them.

Nour said all opposition groups would be holding a meeting Wednesday at the headquarters of Al-Ghad at noon local time (5 a.m. Eastern time) to discuss the speech.

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Here's a sampling of what might be said at the meeting:

Hamdeen Sabbahi, leader of the Al-Karama party, told CBS News that the president's speech was yet another attempt to circumvent the demands and aspirations of the people and that Sabbahi shall put himself at the disposal of the youths until their demands are fulfilled.

A spokesman for the Kefaya opposition movement, George Isaac, told CBS News that the opposition had far greater expectations than what was contained in the speech.

"We will not relent, and we will continue, all the way," he said.

Meanwhile, opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, in a phone interview with Al-Arabiya television, said Egypt is going through chaos and Mubarak's resignation would have restored stability. He added that the speech was a deception and not a call for political reform.

In a phone interview with CBS News, Mohammed Mosrafa Sherdi, a spokesman of the Wafd party, said his party welcomes proposed measures to amend Egypt's constitution announced by Mubarak, describing them as "very positive", but said the opposition would not budge from its demands.

"They accept the speech, but they reject the person who delivered it," Sherdi said.

  • Khaled Wassef

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