Last Update 0:5
Wednesday, 16 October 2019

No more 'pharaoh president' says Egyptian interim president

In an interview with Al-Ahram daily newspaper, Egypt's President Adly Mansour insists on the the 'bygone' era of dictatorship and Egypt's newly-gained independence

Ahram Online , Monday 3 Feb 2014
Egypt's President Adly Mansour during an interview with Al-Ahram, (Photo: Al-Ahram).
Views: 2618
Views: 2618

Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour says the days of a “pharaoh president” are over. 

In an interview with Mohamed Abdel-Hady Allam, editor-in-chief of Al-Ahram's daily Arabic newspaper,  Mansour said the country’s new constitution establishes a balance of power that holds the president accountable to parliament, giving it the power to depose the executive if necessary.

Mansour discussed many topics in the interview, including the next Egyptian president, the fate of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood as well as changes in Egypt's politics and foreign policy.

The coming president

Mansour said the next president will enjoy strong popular backing which will enable him to make difficult but necessary decisions to "develop our society and economy and fulfil the aspirations of Egyptians."

He said he decided to hold presidential elections before parliamentary polls because of popular demand and discussions with representatives of various groups.

Mansour said he believes the coming political leadership should be strong and charismatic, but he insisted that the country's fate should be tied to institutional rules and not a particular person.

When asked for his opinion about army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi – the defence minister widely expected to run for president – Mansour said that El-Sisi enjoys immense popularity due to his role in the 30 June transition that ousted Mohamed Morsi and, he said, corrected the path of the 25 January 2011 revolution.

Mansour didn't confirm or deny whether El-Sisi will run in the upcoming presidential elections. A statement from the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) earlier this month mandating El-Sisi's presidential bid has been taken by observers as a sign that his nomination is imminent.

As for Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, subject to a severe crackdown from security forces that has landed many of its members in jail and its top leaders facing multiple trials of terrorism and murder, Mansour said that a reconciliation with the group is subject to the will of Egyptians as the "era of unilateral decision making has passed."

However, he said that the chance for reconciliation has been destroyed after months of violence. The Brotherhood has consistently denied any links to the spate of recent attacks on security forces, notably a series of bomb blasts on police buildings in Cairo and Mansoura, and until now the group has not been formally charged for the bombings.

Foreign policy

Since 30 June, the government has been challenged by international accusations that the army staged a coup in Morsi's removal. Mansour praised the foreign ministry for changing the perspective of international powers on the issue.

Mansour said that Egypt’s state institutions base decisions on national interest and the will of the Egyptian people.

When asked about the US, a close ally for decades, Mansour stressed that strong relations are just as much in Egypt's interests as they are to the US's.

"I want to reconfirm that Egypt after 30 June is independent, and that the priority of its president and government is its people and their will, and we don't care about anyone if their stances come in contradiction with Egypt's interests," Mansour said, adding that the US has gradually changed its unfavourable stance to the events since 30 June.

The US has gotten the message that the Egyptians will not accept interference in internal affairs, Mansour said. He said that the US is now aware of the "truth" about what has happened since 30 June and that its leaders support the current political road map.

Mansour also said that Egypt is strengthening its relationship with Russia, a country with historic links to Egypt. He mentioned the Soviet Union's help with building the Aswan High Dam and preparing for the 1973 war with Israel, but nevertheless insisted that the changing relationship with Russia is by no means a replacement for other countries.

Russia's foreign and defence ministers visited Egypt in November. Mansour said he spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who voiced his country's support for Egypt’s democratic transition.


Search Keywords:
Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

Essam Ghareeb
04-02-2014 07:18pm
I hope that El Sisi does not put his name for presidency. This is our problem as Egyptians, are good in making Pharohs !!If he does, it will be a bad reflection on Egypt, 30th of June revolution and Egyptians. Why do we deny ourselves a good defense minister, he still can serve his people, without having to cash on every good deed. If he's elected as president, expect 2 terms, followed by a change in the constitution, under the severe popular demand and pressure, followed by a life time presidency untill the son grows up to the proper age and position. Sounds familiar ?!! Let's make it easy from now and have a completely civilian president, so we don't have to have further revolutions. The worst deeds are done with the best of intentions. We have to face to facts, it will look to the whole world that we are back to square one with another budding Mubarak, we can't live in isolation from the rest of the world and we need it's help and respect to advance further. This is the main goal of the 2 revolutions we had. Everybody talks about our need for a strong person to be president, enough strong and dictating persons, we need a thinker, onest, decisive,clean, clear visioned and easily constitutionally removable person. People who support El Sisi are the people who are yearning for the gone by days of Mubarak, the clock does not turn back, except if the Egyptians, sleep-walking, turn it back, and this is what's happening now. The truth is that we would have been like Libia or Syria, if our army did not intervene in the name of the people and I thank Tantawi and El Sisi and all the army council for what they have done, but that what I or anybody would expect from our army. Please don't ruin it now!! Can any one immagine if El Sisi is the president and turned to a dictator like Morsi, do you think that the army will support an uprising against him? or do we have to wait for 30 years of suffering untill the army feels that he's not one of them? The media, all of it and the most of the connected people, who didn't really like the whole hassel fo revolutions, lie most members of the present government, poeple like M H Haikel all want us back to the old ways. It's cosy, convenient and more predictable for them. But, look at all their ages, they are old and holding on, ignoring that it was the youth who are looking for the change, who are making the change and they are not going to be ignored or used by anyone.
Comment's Title

04-02-2014 11:22am
MB to run for presidency
If its sure let MB to run for presidency....the results will show the fact..
Comment's Title

Anwar Fahmi
04-02-2014 10:04am
The constitution gives the army authority over the people
Besides, the Egyptians themselves don't want democracy. They want a strong Pharoau who keeps his military boots pressed against the people's throats.
Comment's Title

03-02-2014 09:21pm
Mansour for president
I would like to naminate the interim president for president of Egypt. He has guided the country though difficult times with steady hand and great wisdom. I watched the Documentary ' the Square' with horror as the army and secret police treated the demonstrators. Egypt needs time to recover, to assess the future without fear and with freedom of expression at its core. Thank you. God bless Egypt and it's people.
Comment's Title

© 2010 Ahram Online.