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

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora