Despite taking power less than one year ago, Islamist Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is already in trouble. A campaign calling for new elections to remove Morsi from power claims to have garnered two million signatures in less than a month, according to the Ahram Online news website. This could be good news for democracy in Egypt and peace for Israel, as Morsi has raised serious concerns on both accounts.
The Tamarod campaign—which means ‘rebellion’ in Arabic—aims to gain 15 million signatures by the end of June. Morsi received just over 13 million votes in the election last year. The campaign started in late April and has been running at full steam for roughly two weeks.
According to one of the organizers, who spoke with Ahram Online, the plan is to submit the petition to the prosecutor-general to call for new elections, but it’s unclear whether the appeal will actually work. Morsi was elected in an apparently free election and the Egyptian legislature is tilted in his favor.
Morsi has nonetheless been a controversial figure. He has sought to expand his influence and power and has been accused of violating the rights of free speech. His government has also been accused of failing to protect the freedom of religion for Christians in Egypt, similar to accusations against the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak.
Egypt receives millions of American tax dollars in aid, but Morsi’s actions have led to calls to condition the aid on the Egyptian government respecting rights and freedoms.
Egypt also maintains a fragile peace with Israel and is seen as a key player in keeping the peace in the Middle East. Morsi’s government has been more open to Iran and Palestinian terrorists than the Mubarak regime.
Mubarak left power in the midst of the Egyptian revolution of two years ago, which had aimed to bring political freedom to Egypt. However, with Morsi taking questionable authority and the Egyptian economy still struggling, Egyptian political activists are still waiting to fully realize their dream. That’s the aim of the campaign to oust President Morsi.
Ahmed El-Masry, a founding member of the Tamarod campaign, told Ahram Online, “No retreat this time—not until we attain our ultimate goal: democracy.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, May 14, 2013)