News / Middle East

Egypt's Morsi Lashes Out at Opponents Ahead of Protests

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi addresses conference June 26, 2013 in Cairo (Egyptian Presidency photo)
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi addresses conference June 26, 2013 in Cairo (Egyptian Presidency photo)
Elizabeth Arrott
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi Wednesday addressed his nation ahead of major demonstrations both for and against his rule. Analysts say the speech is unlikely to bridge the divides roiling the country.
 
It was not the conciliatory gesture that some in a nation on edge had hoped for.

President Morsi Wednesday night mocked his rivals, accused members of the judiciary of corruption and blamed the nation's problems largely on the former government and its supporters, whom he says are trying to undo the revolution that took them from power.  

He did acknowledge that in his first year in power, he had made mistakes that must be corrected.  

Speaking before an invited audience in Cairo, Morsi said Egypt needs quick and deep reforms in order to get back on the right track.

Morsi also acknowledged what he called a "patriotic opposition."  But he criticized by name opponents from the previous government, current opposition, the media and the business world.  

Morsi said the opposition ignored the basic principles of democracy and called the government illegitimate instead of taking part in the process.  He urged them instead to take part in upcoming parliamentary elections.

The president accused those he called the enemies of Egypt of sparing no effort to sabotage "the democratic experience."  And he blamed the protests that have occurred since he took power for hurting the economy and forcing the government to look for outside help.

Egypt is bracing for what many believe will be the biggest round of protests since Morsi took office last June, as well as counterdemonstrations by his Islamist supporters.  
Deadly street fighting broke out just hours ahead of the speech in Mansoura, in the Nile Delta, and crowds were gathering in other cities and towns.

Egyptian authorities have been ramping up security across the country, with police and army personnel on high alert.   

Citizens are stocking up on cash, food and other supplies fearing disruptions in the coming days.  The usual long lines for limited gasoline now stretch for a kilometer or more.  President Morsi apologized for the lines, blaming them on corruption and black market dealings.

Opponents, mainly nationalist, secular and liberal groups, are calling for Morsi to step down.  They argue he has lost legitimacy and divided the country while worsening the daily lives of ordinary Egyptians.  

The president's supporters, most from the Muslim Brotherhood and more conservative Islamist groups, say Morsi must be allowed to serve out his full term.   Extremists have threatened violence against the protesters.

Mohamed Abdel Aziz is the spokesman for the June 30 Front, a newly formed coalition of opposition groups.

He says peaceful protests are needed to fulfill the goals of the revolution and rejected any attempts to "terrorize" the Egyptian people by the government or its allies.  He adding a warning to everyone against any attempts to lead the country into chaos.

The movement began with a petition drive by the Tamarod, or Rebel, campaign to show a lack of confidence in Morsi.  Members say they have the signatures of more than 15 million, exceeding the number of votes cast for Morsi last year.

Mai Wahba, who heads Tamarod's media office, cites the president's failure to fulfill any of the promises he made for his first 100 days in office.  She also describes his adoption of extraordinary powers for several weeks last year as “a breach of contract” with the Egyptian people.  

In his speech Wednesday night, President Morsi tried to highlight his achievements, including a rise in the minimum wage.  And after singling out so many opponents by name, he offered to set up a reconciliation committee so that all parties could talk freely.

But as one opponent wrote on Twitter as Morsi's lengthy speech neared its end, he "seems to have decided the best way to fight fire is with gasoline."

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
June 27, 2013 10:27 AM
If his only mentioned achievement/delivery on his campaign/assumption of power promise is a raise in salaries, that is bribery and he should be tried in the law court for corruption. Of course it's obvious he hates the judiciary, that will be another opportunity to close down the law courts and descend deeply into autocracy. If a president does not know when to make peace with opposition and continues to see a divided country after a 100 days in office, then he should resign. Morsi is still an extremist islamist, he does not yet understand democracy.

He admits to making mistakes in his address and promises to correct it, but I promise you his correction of the mistakes will mean much more harm to the opposition. His correction will look like extremist Iran wiping out opposition as a correction of the "error" of allowing them exist at all. Morsi is not going to be any different, after all the first country he visited after taking office was Iran. Can someone teach him that democracy does not mean there will be no opposition, but that when the opposition rises as strongly as it is now in Egypt, the president should either meet their demand or throw in the towel, unless Morsi must send in the army to crush them once again under their bulldozers - the memory of the army and this experience is still very fresh in memory.

And one very important thing Morsi must do if truly he is a president in Egypt is ensure his so-called supporters don't go out to clash with the protesters UNLESS he wants to see blood on the streets.


by: Michael from: USA
June 27, 2013 7:31 AM
Since Morsi accused the judiciary of corruption, a desire to change is produced, and it falls to conscience, which rests atop human nature. Quick reforms in Egypt must set aside rational egoism, for what? a plain system of government? It will be interesting to see how Morsi calls upon conscience, yet demands setting aside immediate rational egoism


by: Amid Yousef
June 26, 2013 11:52 PM
To think I was jumping up and down in JOY when Mubarak stepped down. for this THUG? Him and his Wahoos from Saudi Arabia deserve to be punished for putting the world (especially SYRIA) through HELL... only because of Saudi Arabia Supporting Jihad and Terrorism outside the country since 1971...
Only way out is PEACE for everyone, I call for PEACE... America will stand by our SHAH (Morsi) but the people of AMERICA (we hate to waste a penny on this jerk)

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid