Egypt's Mursi invites opposition to dialogue on elections

Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:12pm EST
 

By Shaimaa Fayed

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi invited opposition parties to a meeting on Monday to discuss concerns about upcoming parliamentary elections, which some parties have threatened to boycott, and agree on ways to ensure their fairness.

The invitation was similar to offers Mursi has made previously that were spurned, and the National Salvation Front opposition coalition immediately rejected the offer to meet.

"I tell everyone of all colors of the spectrum, to all dear brothers in different parties across Egypt, I approach them by name, by party, by persons to sit tomorrow and put down guarantees for transparent and fair elections," Mursi said in a recorded appearance on a television talk program on Mehwar channel aired late on Sunday.

Mursi also sought to dispel speculation that there were growing tensions between the army and the presidency. Some Egyptians, frustrated with what they view as Mursi's poor performance over the past seven months, have called for the military again to run Egypt.

Egypt's military has been a central force in politics since army officers staged an overthrow of the monarchy in 1952.

"There could never be disagreement between the armed forces and the presidency because the president and the armed forces are not two factions, they are one, and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is extremely professional," Mursi said on the show.

In addition, Mursi said he has a strong relationship with the intelligence apparatus.

"The General Intelligence is directly subject to the presidency of the republic, subject to me...I support, trust, protect and love them, and wish them well because through them Egypt's security is protected internally and externally," he said.   Continued...

 
Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi speaks during a news conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul (not pictured) after their meeting at Presidential Palace "Qasr Al Quba" in Cairo February 7, 2013. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh