President Hosni Mubarak (search), Egypt's leader for almost a quarter-century, announced Thursday that he will run in the country's first-ever multi-candidate election on Sept. 7.

Mubarak, 77, made the widely expected announcement during a nationally televised speech delivered in Shibin el Kom, the capital of the Nile delta province of Menoufia where he was born.

"I announce in front of you from here, the province of Menoufia, that I have decided to nominate myself for the presidential elections," said Mubarak, whose speech was immediately interrupted by wild applause from hundreds of supporters, including his wife, Suzanne, and son, Gamal.