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Morsi addresses nation, accuses former regime figures of destabilizing Egypt
President Morsi's Wednesday night address to nation, featuring seven decisions, is met with derision by Tahrir Square protesters
Ahram Online, Thursday 27 Jun 2013
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Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi announced seven decisions on Wednesday, while barely mentioning next week's mass rallies to demand his ouster. 

During a lengthy speech televised live from the Cairo International Conference Centre, Morsi commissioned the interior minister to form a unit tasked with combating "thuggery" and terrorism, including the blocking of roads.

He also ordered the formation of a committee to examine proposed constitutional amendments tabled by the opposition, inviting all political parties to submit their proposals from Thursday.  

Furthermore, Morsi ordered the formation of a "national reconciliation committee," consisting of representatives of political parties, Egypt's Al-Azhar, the Coptic Orthodox Church, so-called revolutionary forces and NGOs. The committee, he said, shall be charged with promoting "national dialogue" aimed at bridging gaps between the country's various political factions.

Morsi also authorised Egyptian government ministers and regional governors to sack any officials found to have contributed to recent crises or shortages.

In answer to Egypt's acute petrol shortage, which has seen ever longer queues outside the nation's petrol stations, the president also announced a decision to withdraw the licenses of any gas station found to be hoarding fuel.

In a similar vein, Morsi also commissioned the supply ministry to ensure that gas stations were functioning "in the public interest."

Finally, Morsi ordered government ministers and provincial governors to appoint young advisors (below 40 years old) to their respective teams, stressing that Egyptian youth must assume a greater role in the country's affairs.

"The youth were never given a chance to play a role in the country, and for that I am sorry," he said. "I will make sure they do soon."

Also in the speech, delivered to mark his first year in power, Morsi admitted to "making many mistakes."

But he repeated the usual line of the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which he hails, that the media was tarnishing the image of the presidency and government and inciting violence.

He accused former regime figures, such as Mubarak oligarchs Safwat El-Sherif and Zakaria Azmi, of working to destabilise Egypt.

"Soon Safwat El-Sherif and Zakaria Azmi will be considered 'revolutionaries' as well. Why not? Everyone has been acquitted," he said, noting that Egypt's court system had exonerated most former regime figures implicated in cases of corruption.

He also took a swipe at Ahmed Shafiq, the Mubarak-era's last prime minister and Morsi's nemesis in last year's presidential polls.

"Ahmed Shafiq – is he a 'revolutionary'? He's wanted [by the authorities]," the president said, in reference to the host of corruption charges that Shafiq – currently based in the UAE – faces in Egypt.

"He's based abroad yet continues to call for toppling the [Egyptian] government," Morsi said of Sahfiq. "Is that not a crime?"

In terms of his achievements after one year in office, Morsi highlighted his administration's efforts to serve the poor.

"We have increased the monthly minimum wage to LE700 and it will hopefully reach LE1500 in the future… Public-sector salaries have also increased in the state budget from LE96 billion to LE172 billion."

"Also, 52,500 small-scale farmers have been forgiven their outstanding loans," he added, his words often met with applause.

Morsi played down speculation that the military might support opposition demands for his ouster, stressing that he was the commander-in-chief of Egypt's armed forces.

"The armed forces are deployed in several areas to safeguard the public and defend the nation if need be," he said.

Meanwhile, the few thousand protesters arrayed in Cairo's Tahrir Square voiced contempt for Morsi's address, which comes only days before planned mass protests on Sunday to demand he step down.

Friday is expected to see massive counter-rallies by the president's mostly-Islamist supporters, fuelling fears of potential violence.



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Tammy
27-06-2013 04:05pm
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unbelievable
and so the lies continue..does morsi honestly think that the people believe one word he says anymore?? you can only lie to the people so many times until they stop believing you and so far it seems that is all morsi & the mb are capable of doing..the regime has not lived up to any words or promises they made to the Egyptian people..all they have managed to do is cause hatred between religions & bring Egypt to the brink of ruin & still they do not accept responsibility or blame for what their own actions have caused, always blaming un-named enemies & everyone else for their own actions because they are too arrogant to accept that there is noone to blame but themselves..
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Tamer
27-06-2013 09:40am
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Theater & Ignorance
The president basically said that he did not achieve the goals of the revolution because egyptians are thugs, thieves & liars. If he is the president from the majority, and says that the army and police are respectable, how can 5 or 6 people who are in jail cause him so much trouble? Maybe they are not and he is just a failure. Example of his ignorance: A 2006 model airplane is definitely going to be more expensive in 2006 than in 2013, BECAUSE ITS A 7 YEAR OLD MODEL. New ones came out. AND WHY IS EGYPTAIR BUYING PLANES? Didn't Egyptair lose 6 billion last year? Another Example: Morsy in his own words says Sadat got the external debt to $25billion and Mubarak $35billion. So $10billion in 30 years. After ONE YEAR in office, Morsi increased the external debt from $35billion to $49billion!! $14billion in ONE YEAR!! No Mr. Morsi, you are the failure!!
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Karim
27-06-2013 09:21am
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He is not Mubarak...
He will not leave power. He will put egypt in blood. Because their nature is terror, it is in their blood! Only army and united nation can stop them!!!
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3



Stance
27-06-2013 07:21am
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Confusion!
I am so confused about this! Didn't the majority elect this man? Doesn't that mean that the majority of Egyptians want a theocracy instead of a democracy? That being the case, how can he be ousted and still be democratic? Am I missing something?
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Tammy
27-06-2013 03:48am
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what a joke
I have heard that when you tell so many lies eventually you begin to believe them yourself. The people have shed their blood & waited for a better life, a better government for all Egyptians & got nothing but lies & more lies from the regime. Do morsi & the mb really think the people of Egypt are going to believe one word out of their mouths now?? They have proven over & over again that their words mean nothing to them & are empty, talk is cheap. The Egyptian people are not as stupid as morsi & the mb seem to think they are. Too little, too late to save their sinking ship, it is bottom bound..
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Al-Misry
27-06-2013 03:47am
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Great President For Egypt
One has to be fool to disagree with the president for the time he has been in office and the challenge he faces from enemies of Egypt. Opposing side have been afforded every possible opportunities to help rebuild Egypt. This is never too late for them even at this minute. Sabahi, Baradei and others seem to have been bought by Mubarak era groups. They should shun them away for their own self good. MB and SNF are of the same goal. But NDP are hiding behind NSF. MB will oppose NDP through teeth and nail. NDP found not guilt to all Mubarak cases. After one year they said Shafiq had won elections. You do really need to have primary school certificate to judge the war fought between Mubarak and the revolution. Revolution will prevail in the end right ? We had three elections so far Egypt spent billions in money and time with man power for these. These monies could have been used to benefit Egypt.. Are WE ? MB will make sure no public money are wasted ..
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