Vociferous anti-Mursi protests sweep entire country
Egypt was on the edge on Sunday as protest rallies demanding Mohammed Mursi’s ouster and early elections kicked off across the deeply polarised country on the first anniversary of his presidency, raising fears of an escalation in violence.
The grassroots Tamarod (‘Rebellion’ in Arabic) movement is driving the protest campaign with a petition of signatures seeking Mursi’s ouster and a snap election, which has united liberal and secular opposition groups, including the National Salvation Front.
However, many ordinary Egyptians, angered by Mursi’s political and economic policies, are also taking part in the rally. Opposition activists say more than 22 million people have signed the petition and have urged the signatories to come out in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.
Thousands spent the night at the square, focus of the Arab Spring protests which brought down ex-leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011. The current protests come on the first anniversary of Mursi’s election as the country’s first Islamist president.
Mursi’s opponents say he has failed to tackle economic and security problems.
Meanwhile, employees in state-owned Nile News said they will go on strike, objecting to alleged interference by the ruling party in the telecast of the ongoing protests against president Mursi. They said the ‘management was impeding them from performing professionally,’ alleging the Muslim brotherhood sent its men to TV station to control studio guests being interviewed.