7 December 2012

Egypt: Morsi Invites Political Powers for Dialogue On Saturday

President Mohamed Morsi has invited political powers for dialogue at the presidential palace on Saturday to defuse current political crisis and reach reconciliation.

"I will not tolerate any attempt to intimidate citizens, sabotage public facilities or undermine legitimacy," Morsi said in a televised speech aired by Egypt's state TV.

He affirmed that a constitutional declaration issued on Nov 22 granting him sweeping powers only applies to 'sovereign' matters of state.

"The declaration will be cancelled after a referendum on a new constitution, planned for 15 December, whatever the result is," Morsi added.

Morsi expressed sorrow for those killed on both sides of violence around the presidential palace on Wednesday.

Clashes between opponents and supporters of Morsi left five people dead and 644 injured.

Morsi noted that the current crisis is a political dispute that should be settled by dialogue to serve Egypt's best interest.

Morsi said he supported the right to protest. However, he said there are some people had been paid to stir violence. He noted that 80 people had been detained as they had been "implicated in violent acts".

"We have repeatedly asked about the third party in Maspero, Mohamed Mahmoud Street and Port Said incidents," Morsi said, reiterating that the detainees will lead to such party.

Morsi hinted that Article 6 of his contentious constitutional declaration might be eliminated.

"I am not insisting on keeping Article 6 of the declaration if dialogue with political partners leads to that," he said.

Morsi confirmed that the referendum will go ahead as planned on December 15. The president said he will form a new constitution-drafting assembly to write constitution if current draft is rejected.

"If the constitution was voted down, another constituent assembly would be formed to write a new draft," Morsi added.

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