An Egyptian activist covers her face with an applications for "Tamarod," Arabic for "rebel," a campaign calling for the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and for early presidential elections, during a protest in Tahrir Square in Cairo (Photo: AP)
Several key members of the Egyptian opposition have welcomed the statement issued by the armed forces on Monday, in which the military called on political forces to “meet the people’s demands” within 48 hours, or else face an army-imposed “roadmap.”
“The statement is telling President Mohamed Morsi to resign,” said Mahmoud Badr, spokesman of the anti-Morsi ‘Rebel’ campaign, which claims to have gathered 22 million signatures calling on the president to step down, and which was a key coordinator of the weekend’s massive anti-Morsi protests.
Badr added in a statement published on the campaign’s official Facebook page that “the army’s historic role is to take the side of the people.”
On Sunday as millions packed city squares nationwide, the Rebel campaign issued a statement giving President Mohamed Morsi until 5pm on Tuesday to step down, or the campaign would call on supporters to besiege both Ittihadiya and Qobba presidential palaces and to engage in civil disobedience.
Moheb Doss, one of the campaign's organisers, confirmed to Ahram Online that the campaign will continue in their calls for civil disobedience starting from Tuesday if President Mohamed Morsi doesn't step down and if early presidential elections are not scheduled.
Although key coalition group the National Salvation Front has yet to release an official statement, initial reactions from politicians within the grouping were upbeat.
“This is a historical opportunity that should not be lost,” said founding member of the National Salvation Front Amr Moussa in a press statement.
Moussa further warned that “wasting more time will make things worse.”
Ahmed Fawzy, secretary-general of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, also welcomed the army’s statement, and told Ahram Online that the opposition will not accept any solutions except the holding of early presidential elections.
“Any cabinet reshuffle, a change of the prosecutor-general, or any decision by President Morsi other than that is unacceptable,” said Fawzy.
He also added that a national dialogue that is inclusive of all political factions should take place once the demands of the people are met.
“There is no presidency for us to negotiate with. The Egyptian people are on the streets demanding that Morsi leaves,” he added, urging the president to answer the demands of the people, saying that the opposition for their part will “ask the people to put the past behind them and not to seek revenge on the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Fawzy rejected the possibility of the army returning to the political scene, saying the army had understood the mistake it had made “during the transitional period.”
“President Mohamed Morsi must make things easier on us and on himself by announcing early presidential elections, instead of letting the army return once again to the political scene,” he added.
“The ball is now in the Muslim Brotherhood’s court, not in ours or the army’s.”