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Police state not coming back, says Egypt's interim president

Adly Mansour said in his first television interview that Egypt is 'reviewing' its relations with certain countries who have not been supportive of the transitional government

Nada Hussein Rashwan, Wednesday 4 Sep 2013
Mansour
Egypt's Interim President Adly Mansour (Photo: Reuters)
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In his first television interview since his installment as Egypt's interim president, Adly Mansour rejected claims that the Mubarak regime is making a comeback after the ouster of Mohamed Morsi in July.

"No force can turn back the clock, neither to the former regime or the one before it. What happened after 25 January [2011] was an attempt at creating a clone of the former regime but with a religious tone."

Mansour, in a recorded interview aired Tuesday evening on state television, dismissed concerns that a police state is reestablishing itself in the country following the security forces’ violent dispersal on 14 August of two large pro-Morsi protest camps in Cairo. The dispersals, which left hundreds dead, were followed by mass arrests of Muslim Brotherhood leaders and members.

"I know the police faced a lot of criticism in dispersing the [pro-Morsi] sit-ins, which were not peaceful, but they tried to pursue all peaceful stages [to clear the camps] and there was no response," he said. “Still, they applied restraint and committed to the international standards and legal means of clearing the sit-ins."

"The police apparatus realises it is now fulfilling a new role and will not lose the trust it regained from the people," he added.

Mansour added that the resignation of former vice president Mohamed ElBaradei in protest over the dispersal of the sit-ins came as a surprise to him. "I tried to get him to reconsider his decision, but he insisted," Mansour said.

"I wrote to him in my acceptance letter of his resignation that I wished he hadn’t left his position at such a critical time for the country."

Mansour went on to assert that the announcement of a one-month state of emergency and a strict curfew following the dispersal of the sit-ins was a necessity, although "as a man of the law" he did not relish doing so.

"There was no other alternative to confront the organised danger the nation was facing," Mansour said.

On 14 August, the interim government announced a one-month state of emergency and a curfew from 7pm to 6am, which was gradually eased to start at 11 pm.

"The decision to extend the emergency state and the curfew is linked to the improvement in the security situation which will favoirably reflect on citizens' lives as well as the economy," Mansour said. "How could investors or tourists come to Egypt while it is still facing a terrorism threat? This matter has to be dealt with first.”

Mansour also said that the amount of foreign direct investment in the country has plummeted to 2 billion dollars, after having reached 13 billion dollars in 2007.

"The cabinet's priorities are to commit to the transitional roadmap, to restore security and to improve the economic situation."

Mansour maintained that he gave interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi "full powers" in choosing his ministers, but only asked that the cabinet includes a ministry for transitional justice.

'Reviewing foreign friends'

Mansour said that the interim government is currently reviewing its foreign relations after the 3 July ouster of Morsi was met with condemnation from some members of the international community.

"I am consulting with Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy in strategically reviewing our foreign relations to differentiate between our real friends and those who should not be classified in that category anymore," he said

The interim president expressed dissatisfaction at the official stances of Qatar and Turkey – key foreign allies of the Morsi administration - who have both vehemently condemned the military's ouster of Morsi on 3 July amid mass protests.

"Our patience is running out regarding the Qatari stance," he said.

"The Turkish reaction has reflected short-sightedness and personal interest, not realising the amount of cooperation between the two countries," Mansour said.

"Neither ourselves nor the people of Turkey expected the stance of the Turkish government, which shouldn't have reacted based on the perspective of one faction," he added.

"We hope for better relations with Turkey, but we do not accept interference in our internal affairs.”

Mansour said that the US and the European Union stances are still unclear, but that he is starting to see signs that they will side with the interim government.

"I hope the US and the EU governments realise their interests will only be achieved when they align with the people's will."

Mansour, however, hailed the governments of the Gulf states of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for their stances in supporting the interim government since Morsi’s ouster.

The interim president also said that if the country's situation was stable enough, he intends to give the speech for Egypt at the upcoming UN General Assembly, to explain the Egyptian situation to the international community.

"I refuse the notion that the ballot box is the end. The former president himself betrayed the ballot box. If a president promised a certain project and started breaking his promise from day one, should people be expected to remain silent?

"Real democracy is rule of the people by the people, not a particular group."

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hamash tinbakir
04-09-2013 05:51pm
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Phew! what a relief! nothing to see here; we can move on.
And here we were thinking that the stifling of opposition media channels, the shooting of unarmed pro-morsi protestors (were they all armed? or maybe a bit of collateral damage, zionist-entity style, is OK), and the use of state media to manage opinions are hallmarks of the police state. So What a joy that Mansour assures us this is just a mis-perception. The naive man's mirage if you will. OK; now I can go to sleep happily knowing that Egypt is a place with a strong civil society and egalitarian structures which is not managed by a military-security complex.
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George Tannous
04-09-2013 09:09am
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It is fascism, pure and simple
But people are being arrested on fabricated charges, journalists rounded up, TV stations closed down, non-conformist political parties banned....If this is not fascism then what is it?
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Kevin
04-09-2013 08:51am
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Deception by coup president.....
Police state is in full force in Egypt. People are being arrested and put in prison without charge. Trumped up charges are being fabricated against leaders. People are prevented from protesting peacefully with threat of death and arrest against peaceful protesters. Free press and media are being shut down. Freedom of expression has been taken away. If this is not a police state then what is. Reminds me very clearly of the police state under apartheid South Africa. Much worse in Egypt as there is discrimination against its own people.
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Democracia
06-09-2013 07:16pm
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Fabricated....
Fabricated? The things to be really " fabricated" seem to be the "like"-votes for your comment.
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