After protestors burned the headquarters of his rival, Mohammed Morsi looks to shore up his large base
CAIRO (AP) — The presidential candidate for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood wooed Christians, women and supporters of the ruling military Tuesday in a bid to expand his base of support and he also played up the stigma attached to his challenger, a senior figure in the old regime whose headquarters was burned down by angry protesters overnight.
The Islamist candidate Mohammed Morsi made the new campaign promises in a news conference, vowing to ensure the full rights of the Christian minority and women if he is elected. He also tried to reassure the pro-democracy youth groups who drove the last year’s popular uprising by promising to protect the right to stage peaceful protests and sit-ins.
Overnight, protesters stormed and burned the campaign headquarters of Morsi’s challenger Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak’s last prime minister. In Tahrir square, birthplace of the anti-Mubarak uprising, protesters chanted slogans against both Morsi and Shafiq. Similar protests took place in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria and elsewhere in northern Egypt.
Morsi claimed the top spot in the first round of Egypt’s landmark election last week, putting him in the June 16-17 runoff vote against Shafiq, also a former air force commander.
Both candidates are highly polarizing figures, and are scrambling to broaden their base by appealing to groups that didn’t support them in the first round.
Speaking to reporters in Cairo, Morsi said he planned to appoint Christians as presidential advisers and name one as vice president “if possible,” and said he would not impose an Islamic dress code in public for women.
“Our Christian brothers, they are partners in the nation. They will have full rights that are equal to those enjoyed by Muslims,” Morsi said. “They will be represented as advisers in the presidential institution, and maybe a vice president if possible.”
Women, he said, will have full rights in jobs and education. “Women have a right to freely choose the attire that suits them,” he said.
Morsi, 60, also praised the generals who took over from Mubarak, though he acknowledged that mistakes were made while they managed the transitional period.
“There is not a single Egyptian who doesn’t like the military. The military played a glorious rule in protecting the revolution,” Morsi said. “There were mistakes, yes, but also positive steps. Among those positive steps is the elections held under the protection of the police and military.”
Morsi said there would be no clashes or charges of treason against the military, suggesting that he has no intention of entertaining calls by some pro-democracy groups for the generals to be tried for alleged crimes during the past 15 months.
The groups blame the military for killing scores of protesters, torturing detainees and putting at least 12,000 civilians on trial before military tribunals.
Morsi also vowed to create a broad coalition government, and said the country’s new constitution would be written by a panel that is truly representative of the nation.
The Brotherhood and other Islamists who control more than 70 percent of parliament’s seats packed the original constitutional panel with their own supporters in a bid to influence the charter. However, a court ruling disbanded it on the grounds that it did not observe the rules of selection spelled out in a constitutional declaration adopted last year.
Morsi and Shafiq qualified for the runoff after they finished as the top vote-getters in the first round of voting on May 23-24. Morsi won close to 5.8 million votes, or almost 25 percent, while Shafiq garnered 5.5 million votes, or nearly 24 percent, according to final official results announced on Monday.
Morsi also pledged to lift the decades-old state of emergency, which gives police wide powers of arrest and detention.
More Related Stories
- Developers evict historic women's shelter to build luxury hotel
- Kaitlyn Hunt refuses plea offer, will go to court over high school relationship
- DHS admits "impossible" to control 3D-printed guns
- Journalists file suit against Manning trial secrecy
- Russia: Syrian regime ready to talk peace
- Report: Nearly a quarter of all Americans struggle to afford food
- Ted Cruz against the world
- Louie Gohmert: Women should be forced to carry nonviable pregnancies to term
- 2 men arrested for endangering commercial aircraft
- Oversized load blamed for bridge collapse
- This is what Guy Fieri looks like as a balloon
- Iran hackers aiming at U.S. energy firms
- Lawyers release data in attempt to discredit Trayvon Martin
- Anonymous rallies behind Kaitlyn Hunt
- Bridge collapse: Part of "aging infrastructure"
- Mistrial in penalty phase of Arias case
- Amanda Bynes arrested after hurling bong from window
- Interstate 5 bridge collapses north of Seattle
- Mississippi could begin prosecuting women for miscarriages
- Teenage girl claims she was beaten up for looking like Taylor Swift
- UK Military: London attack victim was a "model soldier"
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11