Looking ahead for Egypt
With 7 million signatures secured, the movement to “REBEL” against the rule of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and his Brotherhood is close to half-way from reaching its aim of collecting 15 million signatures by June 30. With just a month to go until D Day, the movement has been gaining momentum all around the country and is raising high expectations from the tens of millions who continue to want change. Close to a full year into his presidency, Morsi and his Cabinet have been severely challenged to demonstrate to much of the population their ability to manage any change to the better.
As far as Egyptians are concerned, most of the change so far has been negative. Rising food prices, gasoline shortages, power cuts, are but a few of the daily difficulties experienced. Increasing levels of frustration with the ongoing contested political process in addition to highly criticized attempts to replace key positions with either Brotherhood members or sympathizers have been driving most of the opposition to the president and his associates. The polarization of the population that began a year ago with the presidential elections is nowhere close to ending. On the contrary, the entire year has been spent fueling more of it, as each side continues to use the media for daily exaggerated exposes on the part of the opposition or unsubstantiated exaggerated praise of the ruler and his decisions on the part of his supporters.
As the struggle for power continues to play out in the media extensively every day, Egyptians struggle to survive their stressful lives. To maintain hope for change or to keep a positive outlook on the future in the current environment of rumors and counter rumors remains a difficult and illusive task for many. Despite the immediate response launched by the Brotherhood and Morsi supporters to discredit and question the integrity and validity of “REBEL,” the latter continues to gain ground and mobilize for what promises to be a dramatic showdown on the last Friday of June. Calls for all out demonstrations to march to the presidential palace with the secured signatures are in full force. Some are even expecting it to be another Jan. 25 day and speculation that the day will see the end of Morsi’s rule are circulating.
This all borders on wishful thinking on the part of the many who want to see the president and his crowd disappear from the scene. It would be unrealistic to expect a smooth surrender of power on account of a one day rally. The organizers of “REBEL” are calling for early presidential elections based on the demonstrated amount of signatures to impeach the president. The collected signatures will certainly increase the pressure on the current rule to fully recognize the opposition and acknowledge its support on the ground. In the best case scenario, the crescendo could provide good grounds for some kind of a negotiated compromise for a more acceptable political process. More realistically, June 30 they could also ignite a serious confrontations leading to repeated scenes of bloodshed and loss of precious lives once more.