EGYPT: Opposition gives Morsi until tomorrow to give up power amid largest ever protest in country’s history


I knew it was big but I had no idea it was their largest protest ever. Welcome to Mohamed Morsi’s legacy:

EGYPT INDEPENDENT – Egypt’s opposition Monday gave Islamist Mohamed Morsy a day to quit or face civil disobedience after deadly protests demanded the country’s first democratically elected president step down after just a year in office.

“We give Mohamed Morsy until 5:00 pm (1500 GMT) on Tuesday July 2 to leave power, allowing state institutions to prepare for early presidential elections,” the Tamarod movement said in a statement on its website.

Otherwise, “Tuesday, 5:00 pm will be the beginning of a complete civil disobedience campaign.”

Tamarod — Arabic for Rebellion — is a grassroots campaign which says it collected more than 22 million signatures declaring a lack of confidence in Morsy.

It was behind Sunday’s protests that saw millions of people take to the streets demanding his departure on the first anniversary of his inauguration as president.

As Morsy stood firm and insisted the only way out of the political crisis was dialogue, calls for army intervention increased.

Tamarod’s statement urged state institutions to stand side by side with the protesters.

It urged “the army, the police and the judiciary to clearly side with the popular will as represented by the crowds”.

Opposition leader Hamdeen Sabbahi called for military intervention if Morsy refused to quit.

“The armed forces must act, because they have always been on the side of the people” which “has expressed its will”, said Sabbahi, who came third in the 2012 presidential election.

The best outcome would be for Morsy to go willingly, he added.

But Morsy’s spokesman Ehab Fahmy told reporters: “Dialogue is the only way through which we can reach an understanding… The presidency is open to a real and serious national dialogue.”

Five people were killed when in clashes late on Sunday and another person died overnight from injuries, a health ministry official said.

Some protesters attacked the Cairo headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Morsy hails.

Television pictures showed the building ablaze as dozens of people threw fire bombs and stones.

Brotherhood supporters fired buckshot in a bid to repel the attackers, an AFP journalist said. Later, automatic weapons fire was heard around the building.

Hundreds of demonstrators spent the night in Cairo’s iconic protest site Tahrir Square and outside the presidential palace, after the army estimated that millions had heeded the opposition call to protest.

Sunday’s turnout — on the first anniversary of Morsy’s inauguration — was described as the largest ever protest in the country’s history.


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