How to oust a president, Egyptian-style: Part Two

Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:38pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Yasmine Saleh and Alastair Macdonald

CAIRO (Reuters) - Hearing their bright-eyed talk around a cafe table of a peaceful new Egyptian revolution, you might dismiss Mahmoud Badr and the other young instigators of a petition asking for a new president as hopeless dreamers.

Except they managed it once before - Cairo twentysomethings just like these, in their deck shoes and Tommy Hilfiger T-shirts, checking iPads and puffing on low-tar Marlboros over Turkish coffee, a few blocks from Tahrir Square.

In 2011 this generation, armed with Facebook, brought out Egyptians of all ages and backgrounds in protest and, to the world's amazement, toppled the "Pharaoh" Hosni Mubarak.

Can they do it again? Can they get millions back into the streets from Sunday and force President Mohamed Mursi to step aside, perhaps with a nudge from the army? Can they end the Islamist rule which Badr and his friends feel has usurped their revolution after only two years.

Badr thinks so, even if he shakes his head occasionally in disbelief that what he started in a casual conversation with friends a couple of months ago has swelled into a mammoth petition, backing nationwide rallies from this coming Sunday, that has the president and his allies seriously worried.

"I have no doubt, from what we saw during the signature campaign and our ability to gather millions of signatures from people in no time, that we will succeed," the 28-year-old newspaper and television journalist told Reuters.

"People will protest on June 30 and eventually we will force Mursi to do what we want. It is just a matter of time."

Mursi, for whom Sunday will mark his first anniversary in office, has dismissed efforts to unseat him as undemocratic - a view broadly echoed by others, from the head of the army to Islamist former militants and the U.S. ambassador in Cairo.   Continued...

People sign their names as volunteers from the opposition "Rebel!" campaign stop passengers in the underground to collect signatures for their campaign ahead of a planned anti-Mursi protest at the end of the month, in Cairo June 25, 2013. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih