Dr Mohamed Saad Katatni, former Secretary General of Al Horreya Wal Adala and a top leader of Ikhwanul Muslemoon, soon after his elected as the Speaker of People's Assembly, lower house of Egyptian Parliament, addressed the newly elected Members of Parliament on January 23, 2012. Reproduced below is the full text of his speech with thanks from http://www.ikhwanweb.com/article.php?id=29592.
In The Name of God, Most Merciful, Most Gracious
Gentlemen, the great Egyptian people's members of parliament! We must all give thanks to God for His generosity and bounty, His mercy and blessing to the people of Egypt in the great white revolution that overthrew the corrupt regime, uprooting the evils of injustice, tyranny and corruption.
From this podium, from this venerable hall, we announce to the Egyptian people and the whole world that our revolution goes on, and we will not rest, yield or retreat until all the revolution’s objectives are fully achieved, with retribution for the martyrs – with fast, effective and fair trials. And together we shall rebuild new Egypt, the constitutional, civil, democratic, modern Egypt.
I am most honored and very happy for the precious trust you have reposed in me, to fill this position of Speaker of the Egyptian People’s Assembly after the glorious people's revolution. I am most grateful to those who have honored me by voting for me. And I am most proud of all my colleagues who have had a different opinion. This is the democracy we all have to resort to and accept the outcome. This is the democracy that was absent from this stately room for decades. This democracy will always be the source of strength, excellence and nobility of our venerable Assembly.
Egypt has lost many of its citizens for freedom and democracy, stability, development and rejuvenation. Hence, brothers and sisters, we announce, right here, that we will never betray the blood of the martyrs. We will not betray the blood of our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters, and the sacrifices made by all the noble people of this our homeland. Indeed, we will endeavor to make this esteemed Assembly the rightful address for democracy, for achieving all the goals of the Egyptian revolution.
I vow to you all, gentlemen, members of this parliament, that this platform shall be committed to impartiality and integrity, to weigh matters on the honest scales of justice, and to safeguard for each MP their constitutional right to full freedom to express their views and ideas under this dome.
I take this opportunity to extend my sincere congratulations to the noble Egyptian people, who made this revolution, and succeeded unequivocally in the quest for democratic freedom by partaking so effectively in elections that have been hailed throughout the whole world. Thus all allegations thrown falsely at the Egyptian people have been refuted. The corrupt former regime claimed that Egyptians were not ready for democracy. But you, gentlemen, members of this parliament, are the symbol of the people's success in engaging and exercising democracy by electing you to represent them under the dome of this illustrious institution. I offer you my respectful congratulations on winning their precious trust.
I extend my sincere thanks to the Armed Forces and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which has honored its promise to the people to hold the elections in a manner to be envied and praised by the whole world. That it did. The Egyptian people, as well as the whole world, did welcome and vouch for these elections, despite some minor irregularities. Egyptian citizens now realize their value and the value of their views and opinions. In fact, they have become politically skillful, because they have regained their sense of belonging to their own homeland, and have been transformed into real patriots who care for their homeland and its issues and challenges.
We have seen, since the liberalization of political parties, a big jump in the number of parties formed, in spite of the short period of time allowed by the nature of the transitional phase. The Egyptian people turned out in unprecedented numbers to take part in making the future of their homeland.
In your name, and on your behalf, from this historic hall, I extend my thanks and appreciation to the High Judicial Elections Commission and the judiciary, who suffered hardship, supervised the electoral process at all polling stations with the impartial controls of justice. So, let’s offer our sincere thanks and appreciation to the honorable judges of Egypt.
In the name of you all, I would also like – once again – to thank the officers and soldiers and all members of the great armed forces of Egypt, who – together with the honorable members of the police force – bore the responsibility of protecting the electoral process, in such a civilized manner that has been praised by all.
Gentlemen, members of parliament..
This Assembly, the Parliament of the great Egyptian people’s revolution, has a tremendous load of significant challenges and urgent, important tasks – political, legislative and oversight work that will lay the ground for establishing modern Egypt, and connect the country's glorious history with its bright future, after a lapse of several decades. Evidently, Egypt is in a great need for concerted efforts of all MPs to fulfill the requirements of this stage.
We need to have wisdom and patience, resolve and determination. We need to work together to equip the nation with mechanisms to deal with the new era so as to propel Egypt into a leading position worthy of its heritage of civilization and the capabilities of its great people, its leading role, which it played effectively in Arab and regional levels for so long.
We need to work to weed out corruption from its roots. Egypt has suffered its excruciating evil for so long.
We need to review a broad package of legislation for re-building the state’s institutions and social, economic and political infrastructures.
We need to work on the re-discovery of the Egyptian person in order for him/her to become a new, post- revolution Egyptian citizen.
Further, we need to build the Legal State on the basis of truth, justice and equality.
Furthermore, we need to reform education, which currently causes an unbearable strain on Egyptian families, and fails to turn out graduates with world-class competitive quality. We are also responsible for providing health care and treatment for all Egyptians. We are also responsible for providing a decent life for all citizens of this great nation.
All this and many other pressing needs require great efforts and continuous dialogue among all parties. I believe that the commonalities are plentiful among all the national, patriotic parties and stakeholders represented in this esteemed Assembly. Who among us does not work to promote the values of freedom, human rights, citizenship and national pride! Who among us does not see the importance of pushing the wheel of the economy and all the development initiatives at all levels! Who does not strive to alleviate the suffering of limited-income citizens and to ensure a decent living for all Egyptians! There are many more of these commonalities.
It, therefore, is important for us all to take the path of consensus and integration in order to accomplish all these tasks, to meet and protect all the demands of the revolution, and to put an end to many of the crises caused by the former regime whose officials are being tried now and will receive their just punishment for their crimes against this great people. These trials will continue for all the remnants of that defunct and corrupt system.
I would like to go on to note that we will accomplish our responsibility according to the constitutional rules and norms that are indisputably important and vital for the conduct of the affairs of the People's Assembly.
- Our performance will be subject to provisions of the Assembly’s current Rules of Procedure. We will apply of its provisions all those which are consistent with the provisions of the Constitutional Declaration; and we will also apply of its other provisions those which are not inconsistent with the Constitutional Declaration.
- I emphasize that we respect the freedom of opinion, including the opinions of others. This is the most important aspect of democracy. I hope our debates and discussions shall reflect the depth of our civilization. We shall rise above personal whims and desires. We shall avoid being misled by emotions that rob people’s wisdom. We shall seek to serve the best interests of this homeland in all our decisions and our discussions.
- We are obliged to honor the martyrs and the wounded of the revolution, as well all the sacrifices made for it, by fulfilling the Egyptian people’s aspirations to freedom, progress and prosperity, and by safeguarding the interests of the public. We are required to contribute our visions to help solve public, local and individual problems. We have chosen to carry the burden. We must not sleep or feel rested, until we give everyone his rights.
- This critical phase, in which your esteemed Assembly has been formed, makes this parliament unique in its functions, tasks and responsibilities. We have to extend bridges of sincere cooperation with all national parties, forces and stakeholders. We need sincere cooperation with the government, present and future, to revive the economy and control the budget deficit. We need to cooperate in order to restore citizens' trust in state institutions, and to emphasize that they are working for the people, not in favor of a particular gang. We must be aware of all the national priorities for action in this important phase of the country's history.
Gentlemen, distinguished members of parliament..
The precious trust with which you honored me, by electing me for Speaker of this Assembly, has placed a great responsibility on my shoulders, to live up to the expectations of everyone in the management of Assembly affairs within the framework of respect for the Constitution and the law and regulations. This requires that I strive to deepen democratic practice, and to give all the parliamentary bodies their due right to express their opinions and ideas freely. It also requires maintenance of good management of the Assembly’s time. And it requires keeping debates and discussions within the context of issues under consideration by the Assembly at any given time, in order to reach the right decision, which echoes the pulse of the Egyptian street and the people’s aspirations.
Dear colleagues and members of the People's Assembly..
At this historic moment, and as we begin work of the new post revolution parliament, we aspire to epitomize the dawn of new hopes that Egypt has waited for, for decades. We need to make sincere dedicated efforts to bring goodness and happiness to the people of Egypt, who gave us this responsibility to represent them, to hold their national interests high above all else. In pursuit of all this, we are helped with a real democratic climate, which has been established by Egypt’s glorious revolution.
Gentlemen, honorable members of parliament ..
In conclusion, I extend my warm greetings and appreciation to all of you.
Once again, I offer you my respectful congratulations on winning the people’s precious trust.
Now, roll up your sleeves and get ready for the tremendous parliamentary tasks that await you.
We ask God Almighty to guide us for the good of Egypt.