News / Middle East

Morsi Critics Demand Early Egypt Elections

An Egyptian signs a petition for Tamarod, Arabic for "rebel", a campaign calling for the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and for early presidential elections in the Shubra neighborhood in Cairo, Egypt, June 2, 2013.
An Egyptian signs a petition for Tamarod, Arabic for "rebel", a campaign calling for the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and for early presidential elections in the Shubra neighborhood in Cairo, Egypt, June 2, 2013.
Elizabeth Arrott
For many Egyptians, the year since Mohamed Morsi became the nation's first democratically elected president has been a failure. After a year of dreadful economic decline, energy and water shortages, lack of security and what some see as the president's overbearing, exclusive, Islamist agenda, they now want to do something about it.

Across the country, activists with the Tamarod - or Rebel - campaign have been collecting signatures expressing lost confidence in Morsi and demanding early elections.

Some view the campaign, and planned demonstrations on June 30, as an exercise in democracy.

May Wahba, head of Tamarod's media department, argues the legally elected Morsi lost legitimacy when he assumed extraordinary powers for several weeks late last year.

She says anti-Morsi campaigners would like to use the same democratic way he came to power to make him leave. She cites Article 1 of the constitution, which places power in the hands of the people.

Tamarod Central Committee member Sayed Gharib contends Morsi has betrayed the spirit of the January, 2011 revolution and the hundreds who died carrying it out.

Gharib says the revolution brought Morsi to power, but “the legality of the ballot box and constitutional legality will not stand above the blood of the martyrs.”

Tamarod campaigners say they have collected the signatures of 15 million people, more than the number who voted for Morsi last year.

Tamarod leaders do not know how many who signed the petition will turn out for the demonstrations. They also express doubts Morsi will give in to their demands, even if millions do take to the streets. The president has already called the planned protests counter-revolutionary, and says he will deal with them “decisively.” Government supporters plan demonstrations of their own.

Tamarod member Wahba says the movement is committed to peaceful protest, but is bracing for violence.

She says they are expecting June 30 to be “a bloody day” because certain groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, have been putting pressure on Tamarod since their campaign began in April.

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing say authorities will respect peaceful demonstrations. But Mohamed Soudan, the Freedom and Justice Party's foreign secretary, says protesters would be better off mobilizing what support it has for the next round of parliamentary elections.

“Then you can have your own prime minister who can do whatever are your desires and demands and then he will have, according to the new constitution, more power, more benefits than the president himself,” Soudan said.

Tamarod leader Gharib says it is not about power. He hopes Egypt's constitutional court will assume interim control if Morsi steps down. Those are the slogans, and the hope, of the revolution that toppled the old government, protests Gharib took part in. He also demonstrated against the military rulers who followed.

The mantle of revolution - of protest against oppression, even if it is not clear what comes next - is something Tamorod shares with those in power now.

The Freedom and Justice Party's Soudan says Tamarod should give Morsi a chance.

“They should ask him their demands in the manner which better makes them the model, which all over the world [people] appreciate, the way which was the 25th of January revolution," Soudan said. "The Egyptians were already a good model.”

Egypt's democracy, and its culture of protest, is in its infancy. Interpreters sometimes contradict each other and occasionally themselves. Perhaps the only thing certain is that as tempers and temperatures flare, the country is facing a long, hot summer.

You May Like

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

Euro falls after European Central Bank announces a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program More

Saudi King’s Death Clears Succession Route

Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef is Saudi Arabia's New Crown Prince-in-waiting More

Cloud Hangs Over US Counterterrorism Efforts in Yemen

Sources say resignations of Yemen's president, government has left US anti-terror operations 'paralyzed,' yet an American military 'footprint' remains More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youthi
X
Julie Taboh
January 23, 2015 11:08 PM
Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.
Video

Video Secular, Religious Kurds Face Off in Southeast Turkey

Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast has been rocked by violence between religious and secular Kurds. Dorian Jones reports on the reasons behind the stand-off from the region's main city of Diyarbakir, which suffered the bloodiest fighting.
Video

Video Kenya: Misuse of Antibiotics Leading to Resistance by Immune System

In Kenya, the rise of drug resistant bacteria could reverse the gains made by medical science over diseases that were once treatable. Kenyans could be at risk of fatalities as a result if the power in antibiotics is not preserved. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story from Nairobi.
Video

Video Solar-Powered Plane Getting Ready to Circumnavigate Globe

Pilots of the solar plane that already set records flying without a drop of fuel are close to making their first attempt to fly the craft around the globe. They plan to do it in 25 flying days over a five month period. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video How Experts Decide Ethiopia Has the Best Coffee

Ethiopia’s coffee has been ranked as the best in the world by an international group of coffee connoisseurs. Not surprisingly, coffee is a top export for the country. But at home it is a source of pride. Marthe van der Wolf in Addis Ababa decided to find out what makes the bean and brew so special and how experts make their determinations.
Video

Video Yazidi Refugees at Center of Political Fight Between Turkey, Kurds

The treatment of thousands of Yazidis refugees who fled to Turkey to escape attacks by Islamic State militants has become the center of a dispute between the Turkish government and the country's pro-Kurdish movement. VOA's Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video World’s Richest 1% Forecast to Own More Than Half of Global Wealth

The combined wealth of the world's richest 1 percent will overtake that of the remaining 99 percent at some point in 2016, according to the anti-poverty charity Oxfam. Campaigners are demanding that policymakers take action to address the widening gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid