Mansour defends Morsi`s ouster, says Egypt moving to democracy

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 17:12

Cairo: Egypt`s President Adly Mansour has defended the removal of the country`s first freely elected leader Mohammed Morsi by the powerful military, saying the Islamist ruler had "betrayed the ballot box".

In his first television interview since the generals appointed him the interim president, Mansour said, "Real democracy is rule of the people by the people, not a particular group."

Egypt is now moving from "authoritarian rule to democratic rule", he said, rejecting claims that the Mubarak regime is making a comeback after the ouster of Morsi in July.

"I refuse the notion that the ballot box is the end. The former president (Morsi) himself betrayed the ballot box. If a president promised a certain project and started breaking his promise from day one, should people be expected to remain silent?" he asked.

Mansour said his interim administration was firm on holding general election next year and lifting a state of emergency by mid-September.

"We will commit to the timetable in all the other stages," the former top judge said of planned elections by mid-2014 after a constitutional referendum. According to his timetable, parliamentary elections will follow by early 2014 and then the presidential ballot.

Mansour said he believed the month-long state of emergency declared on August 14 would not have to be renewed if security improves. "If security continues to gradually improve, I think there is no need to extend the state of emergency," he said in the interview with Egyptian state television.

Talking about the brutal police and military crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood camps in Cairo on August 14, the interim ruler defended the security personnel saying they acted "in accordance with international standards".

The crackdown, which left hundreds dead, were followed by mass arrests of Muslim Brotherhood leaders and members.

"I know the police faced a lot of criticism in dispersing the (pro-Morsi) sit-ins, which were not peaceful, but they tried to pursue all peaceful stages (to clear the camps) and there was no response," he said.

"Still, they applied restraint and committed to the international standards and legal means of clearing the sit-ins."

Besides, he said the fate of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt`s largest Islamic political organisation, would be decided by the judiciary.

A panel of judges yesterday recommended the dissolution of the Brotherhood after the group was accused of committing illegal acts, including murder, terrorism and sabotage.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, September 4, 2013 - 17:12

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