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Movement afoot to unseat President Morsi of Egypt

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 21st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Could it be the Arab Spring - part two? Egyptians, highly dissatisfied with President Mohammed Morsi's regime following the ouster of Hosni Mubrarak have taken to the streets with a petition, seeking signatures expressing "no confidence" in Morsi. Proudly declaring themselves as "Tamarod," "rebel" in Arabic, the group has collected two million signatures to date.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Some see it as recent history repeating itself. A handful of activists has managed to galvanize and inspire Egypt's grumbling masses in a way no opposition political parties have been able to do.

The Tamarods hope their petition will trigger early presidential elections. The group, comprised of 6,000 volunteers has grown quickly. Group spokesman Mahmoud Badr points out that Egypt's electorate numbers about 50 million, with half of those voting in the last presidential election.

Opposition parties have announced their support. The group's black and white leaflets are plastered across nearly every Cairo neighborhood.

In Mohandiseen, an upper-middle class Cairo neighborhood, at least 20 people stopped last week to sign the leaflets and list their national ID numbers to verify their identity.

"Yesterday was even more crowded," one volunteer says. "There were accidents because people were leaving their cars in traffic to come and sign," another volunteer says.

Upper class educated elites to truck drivers and housekeepers . and even people who voted for Morsi in the last election are now taking part in the campaign. "People come from the cars to sign - poor, rich, middle class, everybody has one opinion," a Tamarod says.

"I don't want Morsi," a lab technician here says. "There is no security, no stability and their economic program failed. If we get several million signatures, we will have early elections."

The group's goal is to collect 15 million signatures, almost three million more than the number of votes Morsi received when he was elected by a narrow margin in June last year.

They then plan to deliver the petition for early elections to the Supreme Constitutional Court, Egypt's highest court, on June 30, the one-year anniversary of Morsi's inauguration, and to hold a massive demonstration in front of the presidential palace that day.

Even the most ardent supporters, however, are realistic about their goals. There are no legal grounds to call for early elections based on a "no confidence" petition. They say the campaign is really meant to prove that Morsi has lost his majority and, with it, his legitimacy.  

"This is a peaceful way to apply pressure and prove that people are against Morsi," one lawyer says. "It is not legally binding, but it is like a poll to prove that he is not popular and not approved as president of Egypt."

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