Secular MPs Resign and 22 Million Egyptians Sign Petition Calling for Morsi Departure

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

More than 22 million people have signed a petition in Egypt demanding the departure of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and a snap election, the opposition Tamarod (Arabic for rebellion) group said on Saturday.

"Our petition has gathered 22,134,465 signatures," Tamarod spokesman Mahmoud Badr told journalists on the eve of Sunday's first anniversary of Morsi's inauguration when it has called for nationwide protests.

This figure is higher than the number of people who voted for Morsi in last year's presidential election -- 13.23 million, or 51.7 percent of the ballots cast.

Previously, Tamarod said 15 million people in Egypt had signed the petition demanding that the president step aside.

Morsi supporters have dismissed the petition as invalid, insisting that only elections can decide whether a head of state stays or goes. His term of office is due to end in 2016.

Meanwhile, a group of secular-leaning deputies resigned also on Saturday from Egypt's acting parliament in support of the people, they said.

At least eight deputies formally resigned from the Islamist-dominated Shura Council, Egypt's traditionally toothless upper house which took over legislative duties after parliament dissolved last year.

Several others had tendered their resignations but they are yet to be accepted, upper house speaker Ahmed Fahmy said in a statement.

The resignations come as Egypt is deeply divided between Morsi's mainly Islamist supporters and a broad-based opposition.

The president is accused of betraying the 2011 revolution that brought him to power, concentrating power in the hands of Islamists and failing to manage the country's affairs.

"We gave them a chance to lead a reconciliation but they didn't. The resignation comes to support the popular trend in Egypt," said outgoing deputy Mona Makram Ebeid.

Ihab al-Kharatt, who heads the human rights council at the Shura Council, said at least 22 deputies had quit.

"We resigned in support of 22 million Egyptians who withdrew their confidence from Morsi," Kharatt told Agence France Presse.

The country was bracing on Saturday for the protests marking the first anniversary of Morsi's term in office amid violence in which several people have been killed, including a young American.

Opposition protests have sparked counter-demonstrations by the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies that have triggered often bloody clashes across the country.

Morsi, 62, stands accused by his critics of failing the 2011 revolution that brought him to power and of ignoring nearly half of the electorate of around 50 million who did not vote for him last year.

Comments 8
Thumb LebDinosaur 29 June 2013, 16:19

If someone is elected, it doesn't mean they understand how democracy works.
I hope they get rid of Morsi. But it won't be easy.

Missing sugaredcoffee 29 June 2013, 23:42

Banima3roof, i guess its because mubarak was never voted in. His term would only end when he died and then his son would take over :)

Thumb mckinl 29 June 2013, 16:39

22 Million! Says the Press ...

Well the US-NATO public relations machine is gunning for Morsi ... Personally I think Morsi should step down but that is a forgone conclusion now as the "powers that be" have signalled their decision.

With the recent forced departure of the head of Qatar there are bound to be huge displacements on the foreign policy front ... looks like Egypt is going to be top of the list.

There will also be ramifications for Brotherhood Members and Salafists on the Opposition Coalition Council of Syria. Qatar's management of its clandestine activities, interlocutors and agents has been a dismal failure.

Hence a new regime in Qatar, one that took no time in denouncing sectarianism one would note. Look for other changes vis a vis the GCC in their approach to the middle east, especially Syria.

Thumb chrisrushlau 29 June 2013, 19:43

So far I haven't seen any streets filled with anti-Morsi demonstrators. This June 30 day of rage may be the biggest Israel-Western failure since the extrajudicial execution of Osama bin Laden, which is saying alot. And perhaps Morsi IS being tested here, seeing if he panics because someone Tweeted. Morsi is grinding down the Western-Israeli "case" as those Mubarak judges steadily show more and more why Mubarak hired them.

Missing phillipo 30 June 2013, 09:27

So once again, someone spouts the rubbish that Israel is to blame for Egypts woes.
Whether it is 22 million or just 2 million who have signed the petition, it is still a lot of people who are against the authoritarian Islamist rule installed by Morsi.

Missing bigjohn 29 June 2013, 22:25

The Egyptian people and the entire Arab world now see the real Ikhwan in power and the Salafists. Nasser always warned not to trust the Ikhwan because they are opportunists who will sell their mother to achieve power. For years they have been demonstrating against Zionist America and Israel ONLY to follow the steps of the puppet dictator Mubarek. They have been denouncing the Egyptian wealthy Elite ONLY to continue the Anti workers policies. For years they have been calling for an Egypt not controlled by the Kings ONLY to be bought by the KINGS. The leaders of Egypt and the Arab world have to choose between support from their people OR being bought by other governments the people hate.

Missing sugaredcoffee 29 June 2013, 23:46

Indeed

Missing phillipo 30 June 2013, 09:29

Isn't it about time that the Arab masses, be it in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, or anywhere else become "for" instead of always "against".