Egypt on the Brink as Cabinet Ministers Threaten to Quit. Military Threatens Intervention – Has The Arab Summer Finally Arrived?
The head of Egypt’s armed forces has given politicians 48 hours to answer demands made by the Egyptian people or the military would offer its own “road map for the future”.
In a statement read on state television, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called the mass protests an “unprecedented” expression of the popular will.
The Middle East News Agency (MENA) has just reported that five Cabinet ministers met today to consider resigning their posts and joining the Tamarod protest movement. MENA is Egypt’s publicly funded state news agency and they said the ministers are the heads of communications, legal affairs, environment, tourism and water utilities.
According to MENA, “If the five Cabinet ministers resign, it would show the further paring down of President Morsi’s backing outside the Muslim Brotherhood. The five are among the non-Islamists in a Cabinet where Brotherhood members hold 11 posts and Brotherhood sympathizers hold several more.”
The protests began yesterday on the anniversary of President Mohammed Morsi’s inauguration. Tamarod, Arabic for “Rebel,” has said Morsi has until 5 pm Tuesday to step down and pave the way for early presidential elections or else it would launch “complete civil disobedience.”
Tamarod has collected more than 15 million signatures on a petition calling for new presidential elections. The Muslim Brotherhood has broken many promises to seek consensus with the opposition.
They forced through a new constitution and they have been trying to impose control over the judiciary, media and civil society groups. They have also devised laws that would tilt future elections in its favor and they have rejected compromises with moderate opponents.
MENA says the demonstrators have widespread support because “Cities are plagued with power outages and fuel shortages, inflation and unemployment are growing and investment is dormant. The International Monetary Fund will not rescue Morsi, and only bailouts from Qatar and Libya have kept Egypt from exhausting its reserves of hard currency.”
PHOTO: Demonstrators filled Cairo’s streets on the way to the Presidential Palace.