Morsy: Decision to retire Tantawi was ‘a must’

In his first television interview on Saturday night, President Mohamed Morsy said that the decision to send former Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi and former Chief of Staff Sami Anan to retirement in August was “a must.”

Morsy added that this decision was not intended to marginalize the role of any institution.

Morsy told state television that “the Armed Forces safeguarded the revolution and managed the transitional period … the Armed Forces is an institution respected by the people and Egypt’s president attends to it like he does the remaining institutions. It genuinely participates in preserving the internal security of the country whenever this is needed.”

Asked about his current legislative powers, Morsy said that he would only use the temporary right to legislate within the tightest limits and after consulting with the concerned entities.

Morsy also addressed fears of Islamist hegemony over the state, saying, “Fear of the Islamist current is healthy — it leads to political, intellectual and societal mobility, but no single faction should fear control by others.”

Morsy said that he does not interfere in the process of writing the constitution and added that he will abide by its stipulations in order for Egypt to have a genuinely modern state.

When asked about the wave of labor protests that have swept the country recently, Morsy said, “Labor protests and freedom of expression are a right for everyone, but protests that hamper production undermine the ability to respond to demands and result in a negative image of the investment environment.”

“All the demands of the labor protests will be largely met in the coming budget. Within two years, the people will feel the investments, [better] rates of employment and the increase in tourist arrivals.”

Morsy said about money smuggled overseas under the former regime, “We will not leave a corrupt person unpunished and everyone will be held accountable. I am taking action around the world to recoup smuggled money.”

Regarding the crisis in Syria, Morsy said that Egypt is not a party to the conflict though it is seeking to end the crisis there.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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