By: Salma Abdullah
The Tamarod campaign announced on Saturday that they had collected over 22 million signatures in their petition campaign to withdraw confidence from President Mohamed Morsi and hold early presidential elections in a press conference.
“The president lost his legitimacy when he didn’t follow the law or the constitution and when he put the interests of his group before those of the Egyptians,” said Tamarod founding member Mohamed Abdel- Aziz .
The group proposed a six-month transitional road map where they hand power to an independent prime minister who would head a technocratic government. The head of the constitutional court would be assigned the duties of the president, but with limited powers, until holding presidential elections.
The statement added that the National Defence Council would have the authority to fulfil its national security responsibility towards the country.
Tamarod spokesperson Mahmoud Badr said that they would close all Tamarod branches and their headquarters would instead be located in the squares all over the country, adding that they would release a statement everyday at 10 pm detailing what is happening around the country.
Badr said that the 30 June protests are a continuation of the 25 January revolution. “Tamarod wouldn’t be the leader, it is the Egyptian people who will lead us,” Badr added.
Badr asked people to participate in 30 June protests saying, “The petitions without the sit-ins and protests would be useless.”
The starting points of the 30 June marches include marches in Heliopolis, Shubra, Nasr City, Ein Shams and Al-Matareya that will head to the Presidential Palace, while marches from Mostafa Mahmoud mosque, Haram and Giza will head to Tahrir Square.
Badr condemned any attempts to drag people into violence and accused the Brotherhood of using violence in the past saying that, “Egyptians wouldn’t fear their terrorism.”
Nadia Henry, a former Shura member, announced the resignation of eight members from the Shura council, stating, “We have decided to be on the people’s side from the very beginning,” she said. She added that they stood against the draft judiciary law, and supported the ministry of culture sit-in from the first day.
Mazhar Shahin, Imam and preacher of Omar Makram mosque in Tahrir Square, denied the Muslim Brotherhood claims that the protests against Morsi on Friday were led by remnants of the former regime, “If Mubarak had all these supporters they would have protected him during the revolution,” Shahin said.
He urged the president to order all his supporters to withdraw from the streets saying that his silence regarding their actions reflected his acceptance of them. Shahin added that if any violence erupted because of the president’s supporters, “The president would be legally responsible for it.”
“I am against the splitting of Egyptians into factions. All Egyptians will participate in 30 June protests, “Shahin said, expressing his hope that Morsi step down before the planned protests on Sunday to prevent bloodshed.
Egyptian Socialist Party Secretary Karima El-Hefnawy said that the clashes that occurred on Friday were caused by the Brotherhood. “The acts of violence and killing show that the Brotherhood and their militias are the ones responsible for the blood of the Egyptians,” she said.
“We will continue protesting in the streets until the removal of the regime,” El-Hefnawy asserted.
“The Brotherhood represents a continuation to the corrupt and failed regime of Mubarak; the only difference is the religious cover,” said state television presenter Bothaina Kamel.
She said that the people realised that the Brotherhood and their government is not for Egyptians. “I don’t trust the political parties or the elitists; the only ones I trust are the normal Egyptian people,” Kamel added.
She said that these are the last days of Brotherhood rule, and she sent a message to whoever rules Egypt after the 30 June, stating that if they didn’t respect Egyptians and their demands that they would face the same fate as Mubarak and Morsi.