2012-07-03 10:13:00

Egypt's new president promises democracy, not theocracy

Moscow, July 3, Interfax - Egypt's new President Mohamed Mursi has promised to the country's constitutional committee that he will ensure religious equality and a multi-party system, and will strive to build a democratic, and not theocratic, state.

"The case in point is that he [Mursi] should guarantee equal rights for religious minorities and women. Other of our demands have to do with ensuring a multi-party system and freedoms in Egypt. Finally, Egypt must not become a theocratic, religious state. We should build a democratic civil society," the committee's deputy chairman Ayman Nour told The Voice of Russia radio.

Asked whether Mursi had provided the above guarantees, he said: "Yes, the new President of Egypt Mohamed Mursi has given us those guarantees. He did it during a talk that has just taken place at the presidential palace... We discussed everything in detail. Moreover, we even spoke about the need to draw up a temporary schedule for reforms. He gave his consent."

"We handed him a document listing important aspects of social development that he must guarantee. Mohamed Mursi accepted our proposals," Nour said.

He acknowledged that concerns surrounding Mursi's victory were not unfounded, yet cautioned against perceiving it as the success of the Muslim Brotherhood and nothing more.

"It's too simplistic an idea. Not only supporters of Islamists, but many liberal and left-wing forces, even the centrists, backed the Islamist candidate... Rather, it was a protest vote against the candidate of the military, General Ahmad Shafiq, whom many associated with the former regime and counterrevolution. Ahmad Shafiq held high posts under Hosni Mubarak - he was prime minister and minister. As for Mohamed Mursi, though he is not a revolution, he is a symbol of change and hope for a better future," Nour said.