Egypt's president defends record of first 100 days

Associated Press Modified: October 6, 2012 at 6:16 pm •  Published: October 6, 2012
Advertisement

He said that his government cracked down on a "mafia" of officials working in the Petroleum Ministry who were siphoning off millions of dollars in corrupt deals.

In contrast, he said he was still living in a rented apartment on the outskirts of Cairo and asked people to take him to task if he is seen driving around in a new car that is not part of the president's motorcade.

"I say this to you why? Because personally... I said a long time ago I have no rights, but obligations," Morsi said.

Morsi's supporters, and even liberal and secular opponents, have given him credit for politically sidelining the military shortly after taking office by forcing a number of senior generals who had served under Mubarak into retirement after a tumultuous military-led transition and stamping his own authority on the country's executive.

While Morsi sought to highlight his achievements, the Morsi Meter, a website that is tracking the president's first 100 days in office, said that the president has fulfilled five of his 64 promises.

Some of Morsi's critics express frustration with the slow pace of reform, and say they see shadows of the past in his governing style.

"I see his policies as Mubarak's policies, but with an Islamic overture," said Mohamed Abdelaziz, a human rights lawyer. "It is the same economic policy and same language."

He also accused Morsi of abandoning the revolution's goals of freedom, justice and social equality.

"Islamic jihadists are being released from prison ... but at the same time we hear little about the thousands of revolutionaries who were tried under military rule," he said, referring to recent pardons by the president. "Until now there are wounded protesters who cannot even find treatment."

Preceding Morsi's speech was a military parade that included soldiers parachuting out of helicopters to mark the 39th anniversary of Egypt's Oct. 6 1973 war with Israel.

Morsi's predecessor, Mubarak, had earned nationwide fame as commander of the air force during the war. More than a dozen protesters rallied Saturday outside Tora prison in support of the ousted leader, calling him a war hero. He is serving a life sentence for failing to stop the killings of protesters during the revolt against him.