Widespread protests across Egypt yesterday failed to bring any sign of an end to deep divisions within the state, as both opposition protesters and Mohamed Morsi’s Government refused to give ground and the country slipped closer towards civil war.
Protests and violent clashes took place at major cities throughout Egypt, including Cairo, Alexandria and Port Said, with more large-scale civil disobedience likely from 5pm tomorrow, July 2nd – the deadline by which the Tamarod campaign has given President Morsi to resign.
Marking a year since Morsi was elected, the demonstrations revealed the strength of opposition against his presidency, with millions of Egyptians protesting against what they see as a failure to deliver on promises made during the revolution.
Expert analysts from the Henry Jackson Society (HJS) have said President Morsi’s refusal to acknowledge opposition and instead running a democracy by diktat has led to the current unrest, and have called for him to heed the protesters’ demand to resign.
Henry Jackson Society research fellow Emily Dyer, who travelled to Egypt this month to speak to opposition protesters and key players in the Freedom and Justice Party and protest groups, said neither side looked prepared to make any concessions following the mass demonstrations, and laid blame for the unrest on Morsi.
She said: “Both President Morsi and the protesters have yet to show any sign of giving ground.
“It’s becoming clear that if there is no movement from the Government, civil unrest and disobedience are set to continue in Egypt, and if Morsi’s deadline by which to resign is ignored, violence is likely to increase.
“Egyptians are angry by the Government’s failure to deliver on the freedoms they fought for during the revolution. If neither side is willing to back down, these deep divisions are only going to worsen.
“Unless Morsi realises that democratic rule sometimes requires consensus rather than majoritarian bullying, he should stand aside to allow someone else to build trust among Egypt’s diverse population.”