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Mohamed Morsy's son: 'Dad, you are the legitimate leader' of Egypt

By Salma Abdelaziz and Reza Sayah, CNN
updated 7:49 AM EDT, Fri July 12, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: 70% of ministerial posts filled, interim prime minister says, state media reports
  • Osama Morsy calls his dad's ouster "a coup on democracy ... the constitution and the will of the people"
  • He has not spoken to his father since Mohamed Morsy was taken into custody by the armed forces

Cairo (CNN) -- Wearing a purple polo and stylish Ray Ban sunglasses, Osama Morsy strolled into the interview room calm, confident, and defiant.

"What do I see in the coming days? That the revolution will succeed and that the legitimate leader will return," he said. "The Egyptian people will never again be scared or petrified of a tank or terrorized by detention."

A little more than a week ago, Osama's father, former President Mohamed Morsy, was forcibly ousted by the Egyptian military and swiftly replaced with a civilian transitional government.

"This is a coup of the revolution, a coup on democracy, a coup on the constitution and the will of the people. The defense minister is essentially saying to the millions that voted in presidential elections and on the constitutional referendum, 'you don't know what is best for you. I know what is best for you'."

Despite the younger Morsy's outrage at his father's ouster, the new government is continuing to fill posts. Interim Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi said that 70% of the choices for ministers and ministerial posts have been completed, according to the state-run al-Ahram news agency. The final formation of the government is expected to be announced Monday, according to al-Ahram.

Videos show who is under attack in Egypt
A bus passes a destroyed pickup truck with loudspeakers that was used by supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy on Friday, August 2. The supporters and security forces clashed in Sixth of October City in Giza, south of Cairo, after the government ordered their protest camps be broken up. Look at the latest violence in Egypt. A bus passes a destroyed pickup truck with loudspeakers that was used by supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy on Friday, August 2. The supporters and security forces clashed in Sixth of October City in Giza, south of Cairo, after the government ordered their protest camps be broken up. Look at the latest violence in Egypt.
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For the millions of Egyptians who packed the streets in a nationwide revolt on June 30 and screamed "Leave!" at Mohamed Morsy, the word "coup" is an insult, a dirty term that denigrates what they believe is revolution redux, but Osama vehemently disagrees.

"June 30 was not a revolution! And history will never record it as a revolution. And no one, not the American administration or anyone else, can call it a revolution. Why? Because there is no revolution in the world that brings military rule. There is no revolution in the word that cancels the ballot box."

That sentiment was echoed by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Thursday at a dinner in Ankara, according to Turkey's semi-official news outlet Anadoly Agency.

"Every military coup, regardless of its target, country and reason, is the murderer of the democracy, people and the future of the country," Erdogan said, adding that protests in Tahrir Square did not legalize the coup.

With a 48-hour deadline imposed by the military looming, Mohamed Morsy spoke to his son for the last time before addressing the country on state television on July 2.

"I asked him on a personal level, as a son, for him to remain defiant and move forward and not retreat in the face of the armed forces," he said. "The Mohamed Morsy that I know is a point of pride as a son, so the Mohamed Morsy that would back down or flee would be shameful to me, even if he stayed president."

Former President Morsy is currently being held in an undisclosed location for his "personal safety," Egyptian armed forces spokesman Col. Ahmed Ali told CNN, but for a son missing his father, these reassurances are meaningless.

"Don't worry about his personal safety. No one, not the defense ministry or interior ministry, should worry about his personal safety," Osama said sarcastically. "If the situation is to hold him in this immoral and illegal detention, then he must be released! And if it is a legal detention, then I welcome that, and let us follow the law."

Reporter notebook: Morsy a victim of Egypt's revolution

The green-eyed father of two had refused to speak in his broken English until the moment he was asked whether he tried to contact his father in custody.

"I am a part of the revolution and I am stronger than asking one of (the military), 'please let me speak to my dad.' No! We are in a revolution. A new wave of the January 25 revolution ... our democracy path, we will not let it go."

The January 25 revolution of 2011 led to the ouster of longtime President Hosni Mubarak.

Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters remain in detention, and the public prosecutor has issued dozens of arrest warrants for top leadership, but the younger Morsy chose to meet in broad daylight at one of the most recognizable mosques in Cairo.

"The revolution will succeed. The revolution that ended the Mubarak regime will continue strong. We know no other way than success," Osama continued. "This is a peaceful revolution against a bloody coup, but this revolution will be even more important than January 25 because it will strike at the root. This time the revolution will confront the apparatuses of Mubarak, not just the man himself."

More than two years after a popular uprising toppled former President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year dictatorship, Egypt's various political factions struggle for the ownership of their beloved "thawra," or revolution, a faceless and leaderless movement both the Brotherhood and its organized opposition seek to co-opt.

"We elected (Morsy) and succeeded him so he can confront challenges by the principles of the revolution, the concepts of a democratic transition, with sound democracy, and in this transition, individuals are not as important as the will of the masses."

Over and over again, the 30-year-old judge repeated the well-being of his father is secondary to the principles of democracy and the demands of thousands of pro-Morsy supporters staging a sit-in just outside the window. On Thursday, Morsy supporters continued their sit-in at Rabaa El-Adawiya and has planned to break their Ramadan fast there, Nile State TV reported.

"Mohamed Morsy, even though he is the president and even though he is elected and the legitimate leader, and despite his international standing and his role in the revolution,n he is not more important than the people killed at the Republican Guard," Osama said, referring to the deaths of 51 people in clashes earlier this week.

Despite his bold resilience, Osama longed to reach out to his missing father. He turned, looked straight into the camera and delivered this message:

"Dad, you are the legitimate leader, you are the elected leader and elected president. We back any decision you take, even if you decided to leave the office. Your family, we are all proud of you. God bless you."

CNN's Hamdi Alkhshali, Ali Younes, Mohammed Tawfeeq and journalist Sarah El Sirgany contributed to this report.

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