Dr. Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party candidate for the Egyptian presidency has said that the time of the dictators has ended "and will never return". The people of Egypt will make their own decisions without interference from outside influences, he claimed.
Addressing the nation through a televised statement, Dr Morsi said that anyone impinging on Egyptian sovereignty will be opposed strongly. He stressed that Egyptian national security interests "extend to the Gulf States, and our common interests are above any other considerations".
He added that if he was elected as president, he will "extend Egypt's hand of friendship to all the countries of the world including Israel, but on the basis of mutual respect". As a great country opening up to the world and supporting peace, especially in the Arab region and with Iran and neighbouring countries, Egypt, he said, will seek to defuse any crisis and work to put an end to threats to the country and the region. "However," said Dr Morsi, "Sinai is a red line for any non-Egyptian, and the Rafah crossing will be open within a year for the Palestinians."
The Egyptian army, he explained, now has a military and economic role supported by the constitution. "It is important to support the armed forces in terms of defence as well as through economic backing for the military industry." He confirmed that the army's priority is the defence of Egypt.
With regards to the church in Egypt, Morsi said that it is an important and significant national institution which helps in internal stability and with relations across Africa.
If elected, said Morsi, the needs of ordinary people would be at the top of his list of priorities. He understands, he insisted, the enormous pressures on ordinary citizens in matters such as health and education. "Provisions for health across Egypt will be developed to provide good services for all," he stressed, " and I will ensure that 12 per cent of the general budget will be pumped into health facilities."
The Freedom and Justice Party president admitted that several mistakes had been made by his party and that the Muslim Brotherhood, which at first said it would not field a presidential candidate, was mistaken in that decision. He also pointed out that "the formation of the Constituent Assembly was not satisfactory in the eyes of public opinion," adding that "the group has corrected its mistakes and responded positively to the provisions of the judiciary and is seeking the greatest consensus on a new association for writing Egypt's new constitution."