Military and opposition respond to Morsi’s speech

Nouran El-Behairy
4 Min Read
An anti-Morsi child protester photographed during the 30 June protests (AFP Photo)
Egyptian retake streets  (AFP Photo)
Egyptian retake streets
(AFP Photo)

An administrator of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) released a short statement titled “The Final Hours” on his Facebook page late on Tuesday.

“The general commander of the armed forces had said it was more honourable for us to die than for the Egyptian people to be terrorised or threatened; we swear to god to sacrifice our blood for Egypt and its people against every terrorist or extremist,” the statement read.

Major Ahmed Shabaan, office manager of the spokesperson of the armed forces, stated that although this page was semi-official, “it represents our stance, especially after the president’s speech and the clashes in Giza on Tuesday”.

The political crisis in Egypt was further complicated by President Mohamed Morsi’s speech delivered late on Tuesday, in which he announced his intention to hold on to his legitimacy, acquired through elections. He declared that he intended to continue carrying out his duties as president until the end of his term.

“We will not issue a response to the speech, we shall all wait for the army’s ultimatum,” Shaaban added.

Morsi’s speech was rejected by most political groups that participated in 30 June protests demanding early presidential elections.

A joint statement by the National Salvation Front (NSF) and Tamarod movement stressed their previous position that Morsi has already lost his legitimacy, and called on the army to protect the people. The statement was released at noon on Wednesday.

“Mohamed Morsi refused to bow to the will of the people, the source of authority who asked him to resign. He did so claiming he was protecting legitimacy,” the statement read.

Al-Tayar Al-Sha’aby, a coalition of social parties, announced late on Tuesday their rejection of the president’s speech saying that it was “public terrorism” targeting the people who gathered in all squares and governorates against Morsi.

“Morsi, who talked all throughout his speech about the legitimacy which the people restored after taking to the streets on 30 June, is responsible for every minute of delay in taking a decision to step down and for every drop of blood that may shed from any Egyptian,” the statement read.

“We call on the people to remain on the streets until the fall of this regime, we also announce that we will start strikes and civil disobedience. We will not leave the squares or repeat the mistakes of 11 February,” said Heba Yassin, Al-Tayar Al-Sha’aby spokesperson.

In a statement titled “The Night of the Regime’s Fall,” the 6 April movement denounced Morsi’s speech, considering it “the first bullet in a civil war that may drag the country to a dark tunnel because of his greed and the intention of his supporters to control the country.”

Other parties like the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP), Democratic Front and Misr Al-Qawia also released statements rejecting the speech, considering it inciting violence against peaceful protesters.

The Coordinating Committee for the June 30 front stated that Morsi belonged in jail, not in the presidential palace; the committee called on the armed forces to arrest Morsi, all members of the Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau and whoever incited violence and bloodshed against Egyptian people.

The Committee includes 6 April Youth, Gabha Youth Organisation, Maspero Youth Union, Union for Revolutionary Youth, Mina Danial Movement among others. It also includes all member parties in the National Salvation Front.

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