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22 Million Call for Morsi's Ouster, Egypt Prepares for Protests

Egypt prepares for a “million man protest” against President Morsi. More than 22 million have signed a petition demanding his departure.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 6/30/2013, 6:26 AM

Mohammed Morsi
Mohammed Morsi
AFP photo

As Egypt prepares for a “million man protest” against President Mohammed Morsi on Sunday, the opposition Tamarod said that more than 22 million people have signed a petition demanding Morsi’s departure and a snap election.

“Our petition has gathered 22,134,465 signatures,” Tamarod spokesman Mahmud Badr told journalists on Saturday, according to AFP.

Thousands of Egyptians gathered in Cairo on Friday in two opposing mass rallies, one calling for Morsi’s ouster, and another showing support for the embattled Islamist president.

Protests also took place in Alexandria, where American student Andrew Pochter of Chevy Chase, Maryland, was killed after being stabbed by a protester. Another man, an Egyptian, was also killed.

Pochter was in Alexandria to teach English and improve his Arabic, according to his family.

Meanwhile, Egyptian opposition leader Mohammad ElBaradei has called on all Egyptians to take part in the planned nationwide protests on Sunday to overthrow Morsi, reported Al Arabiya.

ElBaradei, a Nobel peace laureate and former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said in a video message released on Saturday that Morsi has “failed” in leading the nation toward a proper democratic path following the Jan. 25, 2011 revolution.

“This revolution has erupted so that each one of us lives as human and be treated like human,” ElBaradei said, according to Al Arabiya.

“Unfortunately, nothing of this has been achieved. We felt that we are in a deadlock and that the country will collapse not because the president is from the Muslim Brotherhood and not because there is only one party that rules, but because the regime has failed, completely failed,” the founder of the Dostour Party added.

“We gave him [Morsi] the permit to drive; he doesn't know how to drive. The country is decaying and is falling, this is not Egypt and this is not the revolution,” said ElBaradei.

While many opposition forces that called for the anti-Morsi rallies on Sunday demand the ouster of the president, ElBaradei said the objective is to go back to the ballot box by forcing Morsi to call for early presidential elections.

“All of Egypt has to come out tomorrow to say that we want to go back to the ballot box and return to build the foundation of the house we will live in,” ElBaradei said, according to Al Arabiya.

The Egyptian military on high alert will be watching the Sunday events unfold. It has deployed reinforcements near major cities and towns amid reports the generals might step in to take power should there be much bloodshed.