Mursi hails Constitution, calls for national unity
Cairo: Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Mursi on Wednesday congratulated his countrymen for endorsing a new Constitution in a referendum that was "totally transparent" and called on the opposition to join him in a national dialogue to resolve lingering tensions.
Mursi, in his first address to the nation since the adoption of the new Constitution, called on Egyptians to work for stability and security of the country and accepted that there were many people who were opposed to the Constitution.
"I renew the invitation to all parties and political powers to join the sessions of national dialogue," he said.
He welcomed those who had said "no" as well as those who had said "yes", saying that Egypt would not return to a time "when there was only one opinion".
Mursi said the passing of the constitution meant Egypt could now move to a new stage that should bring security and stability for the people.
The Constitution had been chosen by the people "with their own free will" in a referendum that was "totally transparent and supervised by the judiciary and monitored by NGOs", Mursi said.
Mursi also admitted mistakes had been made but insisted he would never make a decision except in the interests of the country.
Without naming the main opposition National Salvation Front, which claims the new charter compromises the country's secular character and is too Islamist, Mursi said "difference in opinion is a healthy sign".
Earlier in the day, Egypt adopted the constitution after a two-thirds 'yes' vote in a polarising referendum. Some 63 per cent backed the constitution in the referendum.
Mursi last night signed into law Egypt's post revolution constitution after the election authorities declared it overwhelmingly approved in a two-stage referendum that was held on December 15 and 22.