Egypt Army: No group barred from politics
CAIRO: ARAB NEWS - Mon, Jul 15th 2013 12:18 AM
Egypt Army: No group barred from politics
Egypt’s army chief Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi says no movement will be barred from participating in politics, as he sought to explain his decision to oust President Muhammad Mursi.
Addressing an armed forces gathering in Cairo, Al-Sisi said Mursi had lost legitimacy because of mass demonstrations against him.
“Every political force without exception and without exclusion must realize that an opportunity is available for everyone in political life, and no ideological movement is prevented from participating,” he said.
Al-Sisi said that in the days running up to Mursi’s ouster on July 3, the military had urged the former president to hold a referendum on his rule.
It was the first official confirmation of details of the days before the dramatic overthrow.
“I sent delegates to the former president...to call for a popular referendum, and the response was total rejection,” the army commander was quoted as saying in a Reuters report.
Al-Sisi said the military had a duty to maintain “a distance from politics” but that its national responsibility forced it to act against Mursi, who it says did not represent the will of the Egyptian people.
In his speech, the army chief also said his role was temporary and blessed by some of Egypt’s most prominent religious and opposition figures.
“The Egyptian military is preparing to complete its work and is apolitical. It has laid down a future plan which facilitates the right of free choice and this plan was blessed before the Egyptian people through its main representatives,” Al-Sisi said.
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“I don’t want to dwell long on the past, but on the present and on the future, because that is what we are able to choose and we deal with it in a way the people want,” he said.
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