Egypt Uncertain as President Morsi's Ultimatum Deadline Approaches
The climate in Egypt is tense Tuesday, as the deadline for the two ultimatums set for the president draw near. President Mohamed Morsi says he will not leave office as demanded by protestors when the first deadline is up today, and it looks like he won't be making any changes for the military deadline tomorrow, either.
The opposition movement, Tamarrod, has called for protests across the nation and a march on the presidential palace if President Morsi doesn't resign.
On Monday, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the head of the Egyptian armed forces, announced on Egyptian TV that Morsi has until Wednesday to "meet the demands of the people"—or else the army would take the future into its own hands.
But in a statement released on the army's Facebook page later that day, the army denied the intention of a coup.
Late Monday, President Obama contacted Morsi directly, urging him to be sure he represents all Egyptians, "including the many Egyptians demonstrating." Meaning?...
A statement released by the White House early on Tuesday added that President Obama "stressed that democracy is about more than elections."
But it looks like President Morsi has his heels dug firmly into the ground.
Early Tuesday morning, Morsi praised the democratically elected government as the greatest achievement of the Egyptian revolution, and said that, "Egypt, by all its power, will not allow the country to go backwards under any circumstances."
And according to Twitter, his supporters are at the ready.
Other members of his office seem less convinced, however.
Already, five ministers have announced their resignations, the latest being Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, according to Egypt's official MENA news agency.
The protests, which were at their largest on Sunday, were largely organized by the Tamarrod movement, whose originators are four men and one woman, all between 22 and 30 years old.
Tamarrod has tried to remain ideologically neutral, maintaining that its only aim is a democracy in which all Egyptians can participate.
But the protests haven't been without casualties. Already, several hundreds of people have been injured, and at least nine have been killed. CNN also reports that that there have also been 46 sexual assaults in the demonstrations since Sunday alone.
President Morsi—who was elected a year ago on June 30, 2012—is accused of failing to deal with many of the country's economic problems, and of putting the Muslim Brotherhood's interests above those of the people.