Brotherood leader and FJP member Mohamed El-Beltagy (snapshot from a television interview)
Mohamed El-Beltagy, an influential Muslim Brotherhood leader, dismissed the proclaimed target of the newly-launched ‘Rebel’ campaign, which seeks to secure signatures in favour of ousting President Mohamed Morsi.
"I welcome any peaceful means by which the people express their views, including the ‘Rebel’ campaign. However, calls for the withdrawal of confidence from an elected president are totally illogical," El-Beltagy was quoted as saying by state-run news agency MENA.
The 'Rebel' campaign is a grassroots movement aimed at registering opposition to Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood, and forcing him to call early presidential elections by collecting as many as 15 million signatures by 30 June, the end of Morsi’s first year in office.
The group says it has already collected two million names.
"It remains illogical even if the news that the campaign had collected two million signatures is true. Morsi was elected as president with 12 million votes," El-Beltagy added.
El-Beltagy is also a member of the executive committee of the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party, which propelled Morsi into power in the country's first post-uprising presidential elections.
Morsi's opponents accuse him of attempting to monopolise power as well as stifling dissent. They also blame the constantly deteriorating economy on him.
"I call on the members of the ‘Rebel’ campaign to translate the alleged signatures they collected into a political party that could enable them to gain a majority of seats in the parliament," El-Beltagy added.
"The campaign is a mere survey."
Thousands of protesters converged on Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday to join a planned rally in solidarity with the recently-launched "Rebel" campaign, which aims at "withdrawing confidence" from Morsi and bringing about early presidential elections.