Today, Egypt’s powerful military issued an ultimatum for President Mohamed Morsi to reach an agreement with opposition groups, who have stepped up pressure in recent days with massive protests throughout Egypt’s cities.
AP video shows crowds chanting in Cairo’s streets and protesters inside the burned out building of the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters that was attacked by groups this morning.
Sunday marked the first year of Morsi’s contentious presidency and millions of protesters filled Egypt’s cities. Clashes left at least eight dead and scores more injured. Five of Morsi’s cabinet ministers announced their resignation today and opposition protesters called on Morsi to step down.
“You’re not as big as Egypt, now leave, enough is enough.”
“We don’t want this man. The oppression we had under Mubarak, we had in one year from this man.”
Supporters of President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood also rallied in Cairo. One woman, speaking to Al Jazeera, defended the political process.
“For every action there is a reaction. We didn’t start these protests, but when someone comes to say, we will topple your president, we will topple your state, we will invalidate your constitution and end stability, I have to have a reaction as I will not allow my country to fall apart and see it go back to chaos.”
According to state media, the military said if the 48-hour deadline is not reached it would announce a political “road map” for the future. This announcement by the military has been met with mixed reaction from opposition protesters.
Lina Attalah, managing editor at Egypt Independent told the Real News Network that the opposition is made up of multiple groups with differing interests. Some are from the previous government of Hosni Mubarak and are seeking a return to the military’s power, while others are against more military rule and instead are calling for early elections or temporarily handing over power to the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court.
“But the main polarization was in the opposition is basically its stance towards the military. So there is a group who wants to clearly have a military takeover in order to end the rule of the Brotherhood. And these are mostly groups that are [through] the old regime. And then you have the progressive revolutionary groups who do not see any solution in a military takeover but basically a step back for the revolution.”
The opposition campaign Tamarod is planning marches tomorrow to convene at the presidential palace in Cairo. They’ve given Morsi until 5pm Tuesday to step down from power.