• Short Summary

    President Anwar Sadat of Egypt has said he wants to purge the country's politics and press of his most vocal opponents.....

  • Description

    GV INTERIOR President Anwar Sadat enters Congress to applause

    LV Members seated

    CU Sadat speaking in Arabic and members listening (4 shots)

    GV Members applaud (2 shots)

    In recent months President Sadat's peace initiative has come under fire in the left-wing press and both the left and the right have accused the government of mismanagement. There have also been veiled allusions to corruption and nepotism according to Reuters reporters. At the same time the Egyptian parliament has been the scene of increasingly acrimonious exchanges between the opposition and government ministers culminating in a member of a right wing party shouting "Down with Sadat". The referendum will be held next Sunday (21 May) and will involved approximately 10 million voters. Political observers describe the referendum as shock therapy, designed to demonstrate both at home and abroad that President Sadat was in full control and that he would not tolerate serious divisions emerging in the country.

    Initials BB/2040

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: President Anwar Sadat of Egypt has said he wants to purge the country's politics and press of his most vocal opponents.....communists, pro-Moscow elements and old-guard monarchists. In a speech to the People's Assembly President Sadat lashed out at Egypt's opposition, accusing it of using the country's experiment with democracy to bring about chaos. During the address on Sunday (14 May) President Sadat ordered a referendum seeking to bar Egyptian communists from senior jobs in the government, state industries, trade unions and news media.

    SYNOPSIS: President Sadat was greeted by resounding applause at the people's Assembly. His speech marked the seventh anniversary of the so-called corrective revolution when he removed a number of pro-Moscow opponents from power. President Sadat had hinted at "more corrections" being needed, prior to making his address.

    President Sadat told the assembly Egypt was still in a battle, in a reference not only to the nation's development problems, but the fact that it is still technically at war with Israel. He said the opposition and the opposition press were dividing the country with the object of plunging it into chaos. He reminded the 360 deputies that although political parties can now be formed. for the first time since the monarchy's overthrow in 1952, they must abide by principles of national unity and social peace. He said he would not tolerate a return to the "Party Politics" which characterised the pre-revolutionary period. He said he wanted constructive criticism and welcomed a multi-party system. The President said, "We say yes to democracy, but no to exploitation of democracy and attempts to falsify facts."

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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