Mubarak in 1993: Egypt ‘Keen’ on Democracy, but It Takes Time

BY Larisa Epatko  February 4, 2011 at 5:58 PM EST

As protests continue in Cairo calling for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, we turned to the NewsHour video vault for some additional perspective on the Egyptian leader’s background.

In a 1993 NewsHour interview, Mubarak said Egypt is “very keen on democracy” but “don’t expect that we’ll have full democracy overnight. It needs generations.”

Charlayne Hunter-Gault spoke to Mubarak on Sept. 27, 1993, on the eve of presidential elections which would hand him a third term.

If the West tries to push democracy in countries that are not used to it, Mubarak tells her, it might result in a dictatorship in the end. “Some elements will use the atmosphere of democracy to throw away regimes and take over, which is very dangerous. … Democracy should be on a gradual basis until the people understand and swallow each step and digest it.”

In another interview earlier in 1993, this time with Judy Woodruff, Mubarak comments on the economic reforms underway in Egypt.

“At the same time we are making reform to the economy with another two, three years. There will be stabilization. At the same time we are working hard to raise the standard of the people who have been affected, but we can’t do it overnight,” he says.

Video edited by Justin Scuiletti

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