Mursi invites opposition to dialogue
Cairo, February 25, 2013
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 colours 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 programme 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.
Egypt on Saturday brought forward by five days the start of the elections to April 22 to defuse a dispute with the Christian community, which makes up a tenth of the population, after they said the original schedule would conflict with their Easter celebrations. - Reuters