Senior opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei (R) and Leftist leader Hamdeen Sabahi stand during a news conference ahead of the planned protest against Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi, at the end of the month, in Cairo June 22, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
Egypt's opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei said Saturday that even though the Egyptian people voted for President Mohamed Morsi, he now "has to resign so Egypt can start a new stage."
ElBaradei said in a conference held by the opposition umbrella group the National Salvation Front (NSF), which he co-founded, that a large number of Egyptians who voted for Morsi in 2012 are now calling for early presidential elections.
Egypt is anticipating mass nationwide protests 30 June against Morsi — who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood group — that aim to force him to step down, after which new presidential elections would be held.
The protest is spearheaded by the Rebel campaign, a movement launched in May that aims to withdraw confidence from Morsi by collecting 15 million signatures from citizens to outnumber the 13.2 million that put him into office. The campaign is supported by major opposition groups, including the NSF and the Egyptian Popular Current.
"I thank the Rebel movement and the Egyptian people who took part in the revolution, and what they are doing for 30 June to correct the path of the revolution peacefully," ElBaradei said.
Hamdeen Sabbahi, leading opposition figure and former presidential contender, also said in the conference that 30 June will be the "start of a wave that will end when the revolutionary goals are fulfilled."
He also emphasised that the protests will be peaceful.
ElBaradei added that the ruling regime has focused on "creating divisions in society" rather than working on fulfilling the goals of the January 25 Revolution of social justice, liberty and human dignity. He stated that the regime lacks the ability to rule.
"People ask about the alternative [to Morsi]. The answer is that there is an alternative that will transform the country to the path of the revolution," he said.
ElBaradei called for a system that starts with a new constitution that guarantees equality for everyone.
Both Sabbahi and ElBaradei were supposed to attend a conference in Cairo's working class Imbaba district Friday, and apologised for not attending.
The conference's organiser, the Egyptian Popular Front, founded by Sabbahi, announced that the Friday conference was cancelled for "security reasons". A scaled-down meeting, without the presence of Sabbahi or ElBaradei, went ahead in place of the conference.