"Egypt has a new and free constitution; it was not given as a present from anyone, nor was it dictated by colonialists. This is a constitution chosen willingly by the Egyptian people," said the Egyptian president.
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Morsi, affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, stressed in his speech that some people did not comprehend the difference between expressing an opinion peacefully – as was promoted by the Egyptian revolution – and forcing an opinion violently, so as to destabilize state institutions and instill fear in the hearts of citizens.
Morsi signs the new constitution (Photo: AP)
He added that "No matter how much hardship we've endured so far, I see this next step as the birth of a new dawn."
Video courtesy of jn1.tv
Morsi praised the Egyptian people, the central elections committee, the police and the army for the new constitution, noting that "a variety of opinions is a blessing, but we must refrain from violence."
The president asserted that Egypt was becoming a democratic and independent nation that will follow the will of the people, adding that he is working to "serve the people" and is "not a dictator."
Earlier Wednesday Morsi signed the new constitution into law, following a referendum in the country.
Egypt's Central Elections Committee announced Tuesday that 63.8% voted in favor of the constitution in the referendum and 36.2% voted against it. Turnout, however, was at a mere 32%.
Egypt's liberals expressed fear that the new constitution might lead Egypt towards becoming a radical Islamist nation that will undermine civil rights.
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