Political polarization in Egypt is threatening the country’s democracy, President Mohammed Mursi said Wednesday ahead of planned mass protests on June 30 by opposition forces.
“Political polarization and conflict has reached a stage that threatens our nascent democratic experience and threatens to put the whole nation in a state of paralysis and chaos,” Reuters reported Mursi as saying.
In a televised address Mursi, who has opposition forces vying to unseat him, said he has “erred in some decisions” while being correct in others.
Speaking to a large crowd of Islamist supporters Mursi said he has an “obligation” to correct his mistakes, adding he is standing before his audience as a “citizen” while emphasizing Egypt was his responsibility.
On June 30 opposition forces have vowed to take to the streets in an attempt to urge Mursi to cede power, however, supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood have planned mass counter-demonstrations. “Egypt above all” Mursi told those planning protest on June 30.
The Egyptian army has warned against the country descending into chaos, and said it will intervene if necessary.
Blocking Egypt’s Future
Meanwhile, Mursi accused former regime members of attempting to block Egypt from moving forward.
The president also accused “enemies of the revolution” of wanting to destroy the Egyptian democratic experience, claiming “we have evidence.”
He added “it is time for surgery, to purify,” the country.
“I understand differences with the opposition, but I reject its involvement in acting against the revolution,” he told a live audience.
He said leading opposition figures were bidding to topple the government, currently headed by the Muslim Brotherhood movement.
The leader, who heads the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, said “there is only one revolution” in Egypt, but acknowledged that it may be time for reforms.
Mursi said “some ignored the hand that believes in dialogue,” referring to the objection by certain opposition figures for talks.
He said Munir Fakhri Noor, former minister of tourism, who is affiliated with the liberal Wafd Party, rejected his offer to stay on in the government as the tourism minister.
Moreover, Mursi accused former presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq, who was runner up in the last presidential elections, of embezzlement.
The Egyptian president announced an ongoing investigation against Shafiq after he allegedly bought a plane costing $148 million. Mursi said Shafiq should be tried.
Mursi criticized opposition figures and certain members of the judiciary, adding some participants have to be investigated.
The president also pointed fingers at both local and regional media for spreading lies.
Reconciliation committee to be formed
While Mursi hailed the military, he said it must focus on defense of nation, and that the judiciary shouldn’t be involved in politics.
In an attempt to address complaints about Egypt’s constitution, drafted by an Islamist-dominated panel in spite of complaints from the opposition, the leader said that he was forming an all-party committee.
He invited party leaders to start work on it on Thursday, adding that he would form a second committee to work on “national reconciliation.”