Sabbahi and Baradei talk to 'Rebel' in preparation for 30 June protests

Ahram Online, Sunday 16 Jun 2013

Egypt opposition leaders Hamdeen Sabbahi, Mohamed ElBaradei met Saturday with Rebel campaign leaders and number of political activists to discuss plans for mass anti-government protests

Hamdeen Sabbahi (L) and Mohamed ElBaradei (R) (Photo: Ahram Online)

As Egyptians disillusioned with the ruling Islamist regime gear up for mass anti-government demos 30 June, senior opposition politicians are mulling possible scenarios for developments on the decisive day.

Leading opposition figures Hamdeen Sabbahi and Mohamed ElBaradei, both founding members of Egypt's largest opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front (NSF), met late Saturday with leaders of the recent anti-government Rebel campaign, the force behind calls for 30 June protests.

The petition campaign, which claims to have collected more than seven million signatures for a no-confidence petition against President Mohamed Morsi, called for nationwide protests on first anniversary of Morsi coming to power with the aim of forcing early presidential elections.

The meeting, which was held at the headquarters of Hamdeen Sabbahi's Egyptian Popular Current, featured a number political activists including Hamada El-Masry, Haytham Al-Hariry as well as prominent writer Farida El-Shobashy.

Talks were aimed at assessing the prospects and potential repercussions of anticipated large-scale protests against President Morsi. A blueprint and planned moves of the demonstrations was also drawn up.

A series of talks and meetings with other opposition forces and parties is expected to take place.

Several political parties and revolutionary forces have joined hands with the signature drive, with many parties providing volunteers and opening their offices for the signature-collecting process.

The success of the Rebel campaign so far has prompted speculation of an outbreak of violence between supporters and opponents of the Islamist president.

Egyptian Islamist groups, including the centrist Al-Wasat Party and the ultra-conservative Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya, have said they will hold a "million-man anti-violence rally” on 21 June.

On Saturday, the moderate Islamist Wasat Party, recently allying with President Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, called for an urgent national reconciliation meeting no later than this week to “save Egyptian blood."

The Wasat Party initiative would include discussion on how to accomplish political cooperation, a possible joint stand on the current government, elections for the House of Representatives (the lower house of the Egyptian parliament), and coordinated action on foreign threats, including the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project, along with other topics suggested by attendees.

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