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Egypt president stresses constitutional declaration is 'temporary', 'necessary'

In Thursday night interview with state TV, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi defends controversial declaration, calling it 'necessary' for current transitional period and stressing its temporary nature

Ahram Online , Friday 30 Nov 2012
Mohamed Morsi
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi during interview with Egyptian TV
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In an interview with Egyptian state television on Thursday night, President Mohamed Morsi asserted that last week's controversial constitutional declaration was meant to achieve the "needs and objectives" of Egypt's current transitional stage. 

"The draft constitution is almost complete; we will have a draft charter that the presidency will put before a popular referendum," he said. "If the people say 'yes,' my constitutional declaration will no longer apply."

Morsi's controversial declaration, issued one week ago, was broadly condemned by Egypt's political opposition, leading members of which accused the president of granting himself sweeping powers and evading judicial oversight.

In his Thursday interview, Morsi said such opposition was "necessary," but he went on to voice disappointment to see "remnants of the former regime" amid protesters' ranks. "Anyone has the right to express their opinion, but without attacking public or private property or throwing stones," he said.

"We must express our opinions without obstructing production," he urged. "Produce first, and then express yourself later."

"I respect the protesters; I would like to be in their midst so as to better listen to them," he said. But he went on to warn that he would not allow anyone to "extend Egypt's current transitional stage [i.e., in the absence of a functioning parliament and new constitution] any longer to achieve their aims."

Morsi went on to defend last week's constitutional declaration, saying that the revolution demanded "retribution for the martyrs." The declaration, he stressed, would allow those implicated in killing protesters to face proper investigations and retrials.

Responding to charges by opposition figures that he sought dictatorial powers, Morsi said, "There should be no talk of dictatorship; I, too, like many Egyptians, have suffered from the lack of freedom," going on to stress the declaration's temporary nature.

Asked about the status of Egypt's sizable Christian community in the current draft constitution, Morsi denied that Coptic Christians were "afraid" following the recent withdrawal of church representatives from Egypt's Constituent Assembly.

"Christians love Egypt," he said, stressing that there had been no mass departure of Christians following his assumption of the presidency this summer.

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Sharif Shehata
30-11-2012 03:19am
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We need to think of Egypt
Egypt and Egyptians will be together again. They are building our Country for bright future. Egypt and Egyptians need to wait and see, if Mr President Mohamed Morsi decree is working or not. All Political Parties Leaders and Egyptians should working together for Egypt. Egypt is first before anyone. We need to look at China, 50 years ago no one could afford a car in China and the economy is so poor. Now China sell a car every minute and the economy is booming. The violence and waste time is not good for us. No matter how good or bad you think life is, Wake up each day and be thankful for life. Someone, somewhere else is fighting to survive. All we need to be honest and to do our jobs right. God bless Egypt.
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idil fanax
30-11-2012 02:25am
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give morsi a chance
give the man a chance for you tolerated more than 30 years of one man's show. he clearly wants the best for all, but by allowing social media groups to jump in the wagon and then parade around in tahrir as if they can stifle anyone's rigt in contrast to their view is itself a dictatorship. give morsi a chance and don't dig into the sectarian mindset of special interest groups. idil fanax
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