Morsy speech aims at 'reconciliation'
Published: Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 8:39 p.m.
CAIRO — President Mohamed Morsy offered opponents a say on Wednesday in amending a controversial new constitution and a forum to se ek “national reconciliation” as he sought to avert a violent showdown in the streets.
In a televised address lasting more than two and a half hours, the Islamist head of state blamed loyalists of fallen dictator Hosni Mubarak for the “paralysis” that has marked his first year in office but offered an olive branch to opponents that also seemed to address demands from the army.
He said he was inviting party leaders to meet on Thursday to choose a chairman for an all-party committee that would prepare amendments to the constitution. It was pushed through a referendum late last year with Islamist support, but many in the opposition say the document is flawed and biased against them.
Morsy said he was forming a committee of leading public figures, including Muslim and Christian clerics, to promote “national reconciliation.”
“I say to the opposition, the road to change is clear,” Morsy said, pointing to parliamentary elections expected later this year. “Our hands are extended.”
The head of the armed forces warned this week that the military could step back in if politicians failed to end the polarized deadlock that has touched off violence in the streets — including two deaths and scores of injuries.
Liberal opponents are hoping millions heed a call to rally on Sunday, the first anniversary of Morsy's inauguration, to demand he step down. Islamists have been putting on shows of strength and plan another major demonstration on Friday.
Morsy called for calm: “I say to all those planning to take to the streets to keep the protests peaceful and not be dragged into violence, as violence will only lead to violence. Protests are a way of expressing an opinion — not imposing one.”
Earlier in his speech, Morsy admitted errors and offered reform but was otherwise uncompromising in his denunciation of those he blamed — some by name — for wanting to “turn the clock back” to before the 2011 revolution against Mubarak.
Interrupted by occasional cheers from Islamist supporters, Morsy told an audience that included the head of the army that many of the difficulties of his first year in office were due to the continued influence of corrupt Mubarak-era officials.
“I took responsibility for a country mired in corruption and was faced with a war to make me fail,” he said, naming some senior officials, including the man he beat in last year's presidential run-off, as well as neighborhood “thugs.” He slammed some owners of hostile media, accusing one of tax fraud.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Eastern European military officers say security, economic ties blunt Russia’s war threat in Ukraine
- Missing Malaysia Airlines plane a terror target?
- Egypt decrees protection for election commission
- Guardsmen in Caracas block food-shortage protest march
- Cuba allows phone access to some email
- Syrian military seizes rebel town near Lebanon border
- Statue of Egypt pharoanic princess found in Luxor
- Oil slicks spotted in hunt for jet with 239 aboard
- Malaysia loses contact with plane carrying 239; 4 from U.S. aboard
- Separatists blamed for China knife attack; 33 dead
- Upon closer look, Ukraine a tricky target