Morsi Clings to Power as Millions Call for His Resignation
Egypt's embattled President Morsi appeared to be clinging to power in his televised address Wednesday evening, in which he refused widespread calls for his resignation while vowing to make 'quick' reforms.
A broad coalition of anti-Morsi demonstrators swarmed Cairo's Tahrir Square to demanding the quick ouster of a president charged with hoarding power and steamrolling human rights and democracy.
Egyptian state media also depicted protesters gathered outside of Cairo's defense ministry flying signs that demand: 'Out!"
State media is reporting clashes between the liberal factions and Morsi supporters. An estimated 160 people were reported injured in the city of Mansoura and Reuters reports, "rival factions were on the streets of other nearby towns in the Nile Delta as night fell. Crowds were also gathering in Cairo, in separate locations."
Other media outlets are reporting two deaths and as many as 230 injuries as the tension continues to mount between those calling for President Mohamed Morsi's resignation and others who back the controversial regime.
— Yąsmine Khalifa (@jazkhalifa) June 26, 2013
Fears of a violent stand-off in the streets between Morsi's Islamist supporters and a broad coalition of the disaffected have led people to stock up on food. Long lines of cars outside fuel stations have snarled roads in Cairo and other cities.
Wednesday's speech and skirmish come ahead of widespread anti-government protests scheduled for June 30, for which Egypt's military is preparing for by bringing in "reinforcements of troops and armor to bases near Egyptian cities," Al Jazeera reports.
The protests have been organized by the Tamarod ('Rebel') petition campaign who, in a run up to the demonstrations, is holding rallies inside Cairo's metro station. The group is calling for Morsi's resignation followed by 'snap elections' and is hoping to collect 15 million signatures for a petition in support of a vote of no confidence in the leader, who marks his first year in office on Sunday.
"The campaign accuses Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood, of 'failing to implement policies to improve the life of ordinary people,' citing Egypt's increasingly dire economic situation," Ahram Online reports.
Critics charge that the Morsi regime's quick embrace of the neoliberal economic policies of the Mubarak administration is responsible for the current energy and food crisis gripping the country.
Morsi's regime has been broadly condemned for frequent and often fatal attacks on the country's continuing mobilizations. Protesters have expressed fear of a massive Army and police crackdown on the planned June 30th protests.
The Morsi Administration and Egyptian Army are backed by the Obama Administration, with $1.3 billion per year given directly in military aid to the powerful and famously secretive Egyptian Army, estimated to control 40% of the economy.