Egypt: Former adviser calls on Mursi to respond to people’s demands
Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—Mohamed Fouad Gadallah, former legal adviser to President Mohamed Mursi, has called for a compromise solution which meets the expectations of the Egyptian people to resolve the political crisis currently engulfing the country.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Gadallah warned that a “defeat” of the Islamists in this crisis “would not be in the nation’s interest.” He added that the army’s ultimatum gave Mursi a small window of opportunity to respond to the Egyptian peoples demands.
Gadallah’s comments come after the army issued a statement giving political parties 48 hours to resolve the crisis, warning it would draw a road map for the future of the country if politicians failed to reach agreement. The Egyptian military’s deadline expires on Wednesday.
He said: “Everyone knew that the army will not leave matters to continue in this manner, and that it will intervene at some stage to end the confrontation,” adding that the statement was “clear, direct, and strong in form and content.”
Gadallah resigned his post on April 23 because of objections to the way the state was run, after just over nine months in office, returning to his previous post as deputy head of the state council.
The former adviser stressed that “the statement which is directed at the president and everyone in a position of responsibility, has given the president a small window of opportunity before he is ousted. This includes going to the people with a number of solutions, such as announcing early elections and forming a national salvation unity government. If these are accepted by the street, the crisis would end.”
He added, “It all depends on the people and the situation on the streets, not on the political forces, and this is what made the army interfere, after seeing these large numbers filling the streets. If Mursi succeeds in satisfying the people with his offers and clears the streets, he will then succeed in buying himself some more time.”
Mursi’s former adviser stressed: “I hope the president listens to the people and takes this opportunity, but I do not think he will.”
Gadallah made suggestions to resolve the impasse, including an announcement by Mursi to hold a referendum on whether he stays or goes, or calls early elections to be held immediately after the eid celebrations. This in addition to forming a national salvation government, led by either army chief-of-staff Gen. Abdelfattah Al-Sissi, head of the Constitution Party Mohamed ElBaradei, or former prime minister Kamal El-Janzouri.
Gadallah told Asharq Al-Awsat: “it is obvious that Mursi has lost legitimacy and the support of the majority of the people, however, we cannot resolve the situation like this, particularly as we are talking about 50 million voters. We have to, in this case, go to the people, by holding a referendum.”
He added: “The scenes at the demonstrations today (Tuesday) will force Mursi to respond to the people’s demands, and will also determine the outcome.” He warned against violence in general and warned Muslim Brotherhood supporters not to confront the protesters, because “it is not in the Muslims Brotherhood’s interest to confront the public which came out in such numbers.”
Meanwhile, the BBC reported that Mursi said he was not consulted before the army gave the ultimatum. He was quoted as saying that the military’s statement “may cause confusion in the complex national scene.”
London’s The Guardian reported on Tuesday that the Ministry of the Interior announced its “complete solidarity” with Egypt’s armed forces, and the army taking control of local government headquarters in Fayoum, a governorate south of Cairo.