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Adly Mansour bids Egyptians farewell after year in power

Egypt's one-year Interim President Adly Mansour delivers his farewell speech to the Egyptian public, underlining the challenges he faced, the progress hard won, and that Egypt remains 'immortal'

Ahram Online, Wednesday 4 Jun 2014
Adly Mansour
Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour (Photo: Reuters)
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Views: 3764

Egypt's now former Interim President Adly Mansour has bid the Egyptian people farewell after nearly a year in power, wishing the new president success and warning him of the old regime's attempt to return.

In a nearly 30-minute televised speech, by far the longest given since he took office in July 2013, Mansour appeared tearful while giving an account of how the country was when he took up his position and how he's delivering now to the president-elect Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

The official inauguaration of El-Sisi will take place Sunday at the High Constitutional Court.

"I deliver Egypt to the president that the people entrusted with the responsibility, and with a new reality; not the one aimed for, but definitely better than how I received it," he said.

In indirect reference to the former regime of Hosni Mubarak, Mansour warned of "groups ... who want to use the current atmosphere to clean up their infamous reputation and to revive the old days that Egyptians do not want to see come back."

The 67-year-old head of Egypt's High Constitutional Court was sworn in as interim president after the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and the laying of a political roadmap supported by a broad array of political forces.

"I did not expect the gravity of the burden, the size of challenges and the difficulty of the task," he said. "I did not want to handle this task, but accepted to bear responsibility."

Mansour's time in office was shadowed by a tense political situation and increasing polarisation after Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood refused to acknowledge the interim authorities and kept a defiant presence on the street for the 10 months that followed.

A wave of attacks, blamed on the Brotherhood and their allies, had also hit the country, plunging it into insecurity and economic deterioration. Mansour said the hardest moments he had to face was when honouring the fallen martyrs of the police and armed forces after the frequent attacks.

"One day you will know the truth and how much was plotted against Egypt, and the gravity of this stage," Mansour said.

The presidential vote, in which El-Sisi won a landslide victory at over 96 percent, is the second step in the political roadmap, after passing a new constitution in January. Mansour promised parliamentary elections in the near future.

Mansour reiterated his full independence, and yet efforts at inclusiveness, in taking decisions during his year in charge.

"I did not accept interference or surveillance from anybody, inside or outside the country," he asserted. "I have listened to all opinions, consulted and then took decisions that I bear full responsibility for."

In his farewell speech, Mansour also thanked the two governments of Hazem El-Beblawi and Ibrahim Mahlab. He thanked Gulf and Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, that furnished Egypt with nearly $18 billion in loans and grants.

As for the countries that took negative stances or refused to help Egypt, Mansour said: "Egypt will remain immortal with or without you … your stances will only make it more difficult to correct in the future."

He added that the country is winning new friends and allies each day, and its economic situation is recovering.

Mansour also called for better religious speech, an enlightening wave to lift the public and revive Egyptian identity that refuses extremism and terrorism, as well as upholding the national benefit above categorical demands and parties, because "all the circles of our national security are threatened."

"Bread will not be bargained for dignity anymore," he said. "Neither freedom bargained for security."

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