Egypt’s first freely-elected President Mohamed Morsi says his country is in ‘dire need of every hand that can build bright future’ and it will never return to its ‘ugly past.’
In his first presidential speech on Saturday, Morsi promised to protect the rights of all Egyptian citizens and to achieve social justice.
The Muslim Brotherhood candidate was announced president on Sunday after a runoff with Ahmed Shafiq, who served as Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister.
This comes as the protests have been going on since the junta dissolved the country’s parliament dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood for being unconstitutional after a high court ruling.
The ruling generals are expected to hand over power to the president in an official ceremony at an army base.
Press TV talks Lawrence Freeman, from the Executive Intelligence Review in Washington, regarding the issue. Below is an approximate transcript of the interview.
I am sure you have heard the news that Egypt’s new president has promised the release of the detained protesters; yet he has assigned military judges to review the cases of that commission assigned for the release of the protesters. Why do you think that members of the SCAF were included in this commission?
I think what has happened is that a deal has been made between Morsi and his grouping in the Muslim Brotherhood and the military SCAF to try to find a way to work together during this period. Some kind of compromise or deal has been worked out.
Whether that will last or not, I do not know. I think that there are inherent problems in this kind of arrangement that is continuing for an extended period of time.
Mr. Freeman, in your perspective, how would you rate Mr. Morsi’s first day in office as Egypt’s new president?
I think that he has done what someone has to do in that position, having represented the Muslim Brotherhood which has been in the opposition for so many years. I think the crucial question for President Morsi and also for the military is are they going to provide economic opportunity for the people?
You have probably already seen that people are lining up outside the president’s office. The question is can they deliver jobs? Can they deliver electricity, food and economic development for the people? It is one thing to have an election and to work out a compromise with the ruling military.
It’s another thing to be actually able to provide the necessities of life for the population which was the original reason for the Arab Spring in the first place back in January, 2011, when people were demanding mobility and upward economic development in a stagnant and dying economy.
Another crucial question as well is that Morsi, prior to his inauguration, said that he would honor all international treaties -- that remains the 1979 Camp David Accords with Israel. How do you think that Morsi will approach that treaty?
I think it is going to be very crucial because the Palestinian issue is very close to the hearts of Egyptians and close to the hearts of Arabs and Muslims in the entire region. So how the president mostly deals with the Palestinian issue is going to be crucial.
Obviously they are looking at a larger scenario for the region which is that you have people from Netanyahu’s grouping; you have people from Obama, the president of the United States, Tony Blair from Great Britain and others who are looking for an escalation of confrontation and possibly a confrontation in Iran and also a regime change in Syria.
The surrounding environment that the new president finds himself in is very challenging and again the question is going to really come down to is whether he can provide the people with what they have been demanding and what they have been desiring for over a year and a half now, which is a better life.
Given the economic condition and the economic crisis that we see developing in Europe and in the United States with the collapse of its financial system, this is very doubtful, and most of the major political financial change in the international policies.