Cairo: Vice President Omar Suleiman is the "de facto head of state" of Egypt, the Egyptian ambassador to the United States said after President Hosni Mubarak stopped short of stepping down.
"The President indicated very clearly he was transferring all his presidential authority to the vice president," Ambassador Sameh Shoukry told CNN.
"President Mubarak has transferred the powers of the presidency to his vice president, who now undertakes all authorities as president, so we can say that the President is a de jure president, and the vice president is a de facto president," he said.
"He (Suleiman) would be in charge of the military, because all authority has been transmitted," Shoukry added.
The envoy said he had called CNN to clear up "maybe some confusion on your part in what the President did say", after widespread condemnation of Mubarak`s decision not to step down.
Asked whether it was fair to say that President Mubarak now had no power, Shoukry, who said he was speaking at Suleiman`s behest, replied: "That is certainly an interpretation you can make."
Asked once more for clarification, Shoukry said: "The head of state of Egypt is the President, who has transmitted all his powers to the vice president.”
"The de jure head of state is Mubarak and de facto head of state is Omar Suleiman. For undertaking all responsibilities under the Constitution, it`s Vice President Omar Suleiman."