"God almight knows I am not clenching to the seat of power but it is not acceptable I was elected by the people in fair transparent elections."- President Morsi
Egypt's president, Muhammed Morsi, addressed his protest-riddled country today in a live press conference. Doubts over Egypt's political future has gripped the nation as millions have engaged in rampant demonstrations and clashes over the past days. While protesters continue to populate Egypt's streets urging Morsi to step down from power, the president's forceful and at times redundant speech today revealed his steadfast conviction that he is the "legitimate" leader of Egypt. Here are the top quotes from the weakened president's speech and what they mean for Egypt's future.
DEVELOPING: Egypt's president Morsi says he will not step down and will protect democratic "legitimacy" with his life. - @APNewsAlert
— NewsBreaker (@NewsBreaker) July 2, 2013
1. The 'former regime' is 'sucking dry the blood of the people'
The president blamed the "former regime" for the "corruption" that is responsible for the "deteriorating economic conditions" his government inherited. it is clear that the country's weak economy has been one of the primary instigators for protests. Now Morsi is attempting to unify his people against the same common, external enemy.
2. "The revolution we earned by the sweat of our eye brows and by the blood of our people"
Once again, the president refers to the revolution which kicked President Mubarak out of power two years ago in attempts to unify his people. Having already blamed the previous government for many of the pitfalls of his rule, he continued to use Mubarak tainted legacy as the enemy.
3. "If the price for safe-guarding the legitimacy is my blood I am prepared to give that..."
This is probably one of the strongest quotes to come out the president's speech. It's clear that he is not going to step down and that he is going to remain in power regardless of protests.
4. "I am prepared to approach all parties to reach an agreement"
Morsi's willingness to talk to parties shows that he wants to arrive to peace. It is unclear what this means and if he will be willing to share power with opposition leaders. Currently his political party — the Muslim Brotherhood — also enjoys a majority in congress. He also mentioned that he wants to "empower" the youth to be a key partner in reconciliation.
5. "There is no alternative to the lawful constitutional legitimacy..."
Essentially: I was democratically elected, the majority chose me thus I am the legitimate leader of this country. I am not stepping down.