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Egyptian PM: 'Everyone new at this democracy thing'

February 4th, 2013
06:06 PM ET

By Samuel Burke, CNN

Massive and violent protests often make today’s Egypt looks little different than it did during the demonstrations that brought down Hosni Mubarak’s regime.

“We are paying the price of Mubarak’s era,” Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Kandil told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday. “Our democracy is going through a test: How the majority can accommodate the needs and concerns of the minority, and how the minority can listen to the majority and respect the majority’s opinion.”

The head of the Egyptian armed forces, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, sparked fears last week when he said the current political crisis could lead to the collapse of the state.

In spite of al-Sisi’s comments and the mayhem in many Egyptian cities, Kandil rejected the notion that the government is unstable or that the army would assert itself back into daily affairs.

“The Egyptian army has played a pivotal war in protecting the Egyptian revolution,” Kandil insisted, pointing to the fact the military respected the handover of power from the Mubarak regime to democratically-elected Mohamed Morsy.

Egyptian youth make up a significant portion of the protestors now on the streets. Kandil admitted that it is a major problem that Egypt’s young people have not found their place in society, and do not feel represented in the current state of affairs. He said the government must work on building bridges to the unaffiliated youth through “constructive acts,” but did not offer specifics.

Kandil said what the government needs most now is time – to create new institutions and strengthen the trust between the people and state.

“Everyone is new in this democracy thing,” he said.

READ MORE: Christiane Amanpour's interview with Mohamed Morsy


Filed under:  Egypt • Latest Episode
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Toppolina

    A true liar... what he says in absolute and utter nonsense and I am surprised that a smart woman like Christiane Amanpour did not stop him and face him with facts that his people, the Egyptians, the majority, not the Muslim Brothers, the fanatic minority, totally rejects them. He is repeating the same lies of the first interview. Come on Christiane you are supposed to be a smart woman who knows this area well, so you definitely know he is lying

    February 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Reply
    • Hussein Tawfik

      As an Egyptian, I agree with Toppolina 1000%

      February 5, 2013 at 4:53 am | Reply
    • Jim

      The very reason she did not call him out on his lies is because she is smart. If she called out every politicians that ever lied to her, she would probably be back in Rhode Island, reporting stories about cats stuck in trees as no one would want to talk with her.

      February 5, 2013 at 7:44 am | Reply
      • Henke

        I don't think it's "smart". "Weak" is a better word if she's afraid to ask the tough questions.

        February 7, 2013 at 8:37 am |
  2. DAniel

    IDIOT LIAR ...

    February 4, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Reply
  3. Daniel

    These People are just saying nonsense , this PM and his president Mursi cannot even run a small super market not a country as huge as egypt. i feel pitty for Egypt and Egyptians.

    February 4, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  4. freddbasefreddydatabasedude

    It my sincerest hope that the Egyptians become the great nation they can become, that their people can grow and prosper, and that after such dark years they can greet the sunrise together.

    February 4, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Reply
  5. Ali

    the truth is the majority of ppl found out that their situation under those liars got 100 times worst than Mubarak era. the brotherhood mange to divide Egypt in no time. they inject their promises before they got to power and everything vanished afterwords. talk about dignity liar!! what about the child 14yr who've been ought as protest and he has cancer and your ppl refused to let him go to the hospital to get his chemo & he still in jail, what about the 3 young bloggers against brotherhood who got shot and killed and they never know each other, was it by chance?

    February 4, 2013 at 11:48 pm | Reply
  6. Ali

    talking about economy!! how about Morsy's constantly growing motorcade as many as 30 vehicles for his Friday prayers at a different mosque every week, same to his wife to visit your wife. isn't the economy in bad shape as you said? can't all that money feed the young ppl who are living in the street and throw stones at your car? are you aware that they life is worthless and they are welling to die just for hurting u & Morsy for ruining their life.

    February 4, 2013 at 11:53 pm | Reply
  7. Tamer

    we all know that u or Morsy are just masks, the power is in your brotherhood leaders hands. And the problem is that they don’t know how to play politics. they use god for just for benefits.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:05 am | Reply
  8. KEVIN

    The Egyptian PM is 100% right about the culture needing time to adapt to democracy. We also need to be careful as to jump to any conclusions or react at this very early stage. Waiting a couple of years to see how they handle this new political ideology would be most logical

    February 5, 2013 at 12:11 am | Reply
  9. KEVIN

    Amanpour is very good and obviously very much trusted by the leaders of the international community.

    February 5, 2013 at 12:32 am | Reply
    • Henke

      That's not her job to be trusted of those in power. Her, and the rest of the medias, job is to scrutinize those in power. Not to be their best friend. So I don't agree with you. It sounds as if you have missunderstood what medias role is all about.

      February 7, 2013 at 8:42 am | Reply
  10. Takan

    One of the main problems in Egypt, like in many other developing countries, lies with the education. "Egypt’s young people have not found their place in society". Visit an average Egyptian school and you'll be surprised. They are being taught to hate their neighbors. When you teach to hate your neighbors, you actually end up just teaching Hate.

    February 5, 2013 at 3:30 am | Reply
  11. Ahmed M Ibrahim

    While not entirely agreeing with him, it has to be conceded that Qandil is a sincere man. He has suffered for what others did. But blaming Mubarak for every ill is unacceptable. Not very long ago, Egypt was in shambles.Sadat gave Egypt a sense of dignity and a chance to rise itself from the ashes of 1967. It was Mubarak's regime which built Egypt to a respectable level. He may not be an angel but he did whatever he could for his country. People should be grateful and acknowledge his contribution.

    February 5, 2013 at 5:12 am | Reply
  12. Chrtofatwa

    They still have time to prove themselves but i think i speak for most when I say we were all disappointed to see Morsey elected. He is a fanatic Muslim brotherhood member and he needs to prove himself as impartial and truley stateman, not a islamic cleric.

    February 5, 2013 at 6:38 am | Reply
  13. Figaro

    As usual, after the Arab spring has passed, the countries revert back to dictatorships where the stultifying influence of Islam prevents any real freedom.

    February 5, 2013 at 8:28 am | Reply
  14. Kerry

    "Democracy is the art of thinking independently together." Alexander Meiklejohn
    Is Egypt really ready for this? The past events would prove they are not. Egypt has a long ways to go. Curing their unemployment problems would help. Riots only put them further behind. But it's how Egyptians have always shown their dissatisfaction, even during the times of the pharaohs. Mindsets that have been in place for centuries are not easily changed.

    February 5, 2013 at 9:32 am | Reply
  15. John

    This poppet is lying to his teeth

    February 5, 2013 at 11:46 am | Reply
  16. Patriotic Egyptian

    You, your master, and his master's end is coming very soon.

    February 5, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  17. jimmy lim

    Its very obvious that Egyptian revolution has been hijacked by MB. Now they are in the process of imposing their brand of Islamic democracy and sharia laws. There is no such thing as Islamic democracy. Unless and until there is secularism, liberalism, human rights, there is no democracy. The 2 are not compatible. For Egypt to prosper, there has to be democracy, secularism, liberalism, human rights. Otherwise, Egypt will go down the slippery slope and end like one of the other muslim nations going round the world begging for aid simply bcos the muslim extremists are so obsessed with brand of religion and laws in the process creating fear, poltical instability and insecurity. Just my view from a 4th world country called Malaysia

    February 6, 2013 at 8:24 am | Reply
  18. Magdy

    Now I finally understand why he is still our PM despite of all his failures. He can SPEAK ENGLISH.

    February 6, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Reply
    • hassan

      LOL if the brotherhood Morshed was smarter, he should give him the Morsy interpreter position instead

      February 6, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Reply
  19. hassan

    now with brotherhood in power with zero political ground and skills with zero tolerant to to opposition and other religions parties, they hegemonise the country and drive it counterclockwise. all they have is liar that they're well trained on and used it to prevail the poor majority who are foolished by them thinking they represent god. unfortunately it's a hard way to learn who brotherhood are.

    February 6, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Reply
  20. Mseleim

    On the Egyptian State Television This PM stated that the man beaten up doesn't pay for his electricity bills then carried on about the poverty of Egypt and how mother breast feeding their children are not cleaning themselves properly. You call this a prime minister. I think CNN is still covering up the truth about the US support for the MB. Another uprise before they speak again.

    February 8, 2013 at 5:48 pm | Reply

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