In a televised speech, President Mohamed Morsi stressed that there is no alternative to electoral legitimacy, amidst growing protests rejecting his rule and demanding his ouster since 30 June. He added that he rejects any attempt by any party to overthrow his legitimacy.
Morsi gave no alternative to the initiative he previously mentioned in a speech last week. He said that even though he knew that people are not content with the initiative, there will be no alternative to his electoral legitimacy.
According to the president, who before setting off to speak, looked around nervously, the initiative was submitted by a group of political parties for a way out from the current stalemate. The initiative called for a change of government into a coalition government. It also included the formation of a legal committee to review contentious articles in the Constitution. It called for the Supreme Constitutional Court to review the elections’ law in order to hold the parliamentary elections as soon as possible. The initiative also included the empowerment of youth and the issuing of a code of honor for media performance.
Morsi stressed on the importance of respecting the Armed Forces. "We built the Egyptian army with our blood, our resources... we want it to be a strong army. Never disrespect the Egyptian army. Our enemies want us to do that. Protect the army because it is our big asset. It took us long for it to be strong and we will need more time to make it stronger," he said. He also warned of violence against the police and reminded of the peacefulness of the 25 January 2011 revolution.
Morsi said he does not accept all forms of opposition and said that while he recognizes that there are angry young people in the street, some of them "are guided by those who do not want democracy, those who are used to bloodshed and corruption..." He added that he is only addressing "the honorable opposition that understands legitimacy." He repeatedly warned people of being duped.
The president also said he does not care about keeping his post, but about protecting the democratic path he started. He repeated his recognition of his mistakes and said that his mission has been challenging with economic woes inherited from the old regime, a new experience with democracy, a deep state and remnants of the old regime.
[This article originally appeared on Mada Masr.]