Protesters set Tuesday deadline for Morsi resignation
Protester calls for the ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo on June 30 (AFP)
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The 'Rebel' campaign (Tamarod) says Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has lost his legitimacy, warning that a civil disobedience will be the next step should he remain in power after Sunday’s massive protests that have called for his ouster.
"In the name of 22 million Egyptians who had signed Rebel's petition... we now announce that Mohamed Morsi Eissa Al-Ayyat is no longer a legitimate president of the Arab Republic of Egypt," reads the statement released by the signature drive, which aims as “withdrawing confidence” from Morsi by collecting endorsements.
The target of the campaign was to collect 15 million signatures to exceed the number of votes Morsi gained in last year’s presidential elections (roughly 13 million). Lately, Tamarod claimed to have amassed 22 endorsements.
Sunday’s statement went on to call on state institutes, including the army, police and judiciary, to take the side of the people, stressing that Sunday’s protests will turn into open-ended sit-ins across the country until their demand is met.
It was the 'Rebel' campaign that called for anti-Morsi protests across Egypt on Sunday, which marked his first anniversary in office. With the majority of opposition forces responding, millions hit the streets.
In the statement, the campaign reiterated its commitment to peaceful protesting; stressing that it "will not allow any terrorist group to drag our precious nation to a civil war."
Tamarod further added that there is no room for compromises or alternatives to the ouster of Morsi and announcing early presidential elections as demanded.
"We give Mohamed Morsi Eissa Al-Ayyat time until next Tuesday, 2 July at 5 PM to leave power, in order for state institutes to start preparing for early presidential elections," read the statement.
The campaign warned that if the demands are not met by the deadline, it will instigate civil disobedience. "The beginning of civil disobedience will be at 5pm on Tuesday [should demands be ignored]," added the statement.
In a press conference aired late on Sunday, presidential spokesman Omar Amer stressed that Morsi would do "anything to appease the public… but unconstitutional demands are unacceptable."
Morsi was elected as president last year after winning the first-ever free elections in Egypt. His supporters, thousands of whom have been holding a sit-at Cairo's Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque to back him up against opposition protests, argue that his opponents must wait until the coming presidential elections due in 2016 to change the president.
Morsi’s critics usually cite the country’s deteriorating economy and the “incompetence of his administration”. Many of his opponents also believe that the Muslim Brotherhood, from which he hails, is the actual ruling body of Egypt, while Morsi is helping them dominate power.