A year after Mohammed Morsi became Egypt’s first Muslim Brotherhood president, he is facing intense protests calling for his resignation. According to BBC, the number of protestors “is the largest number in a political event in the history of mankind.”
Is BBC overestimating? It’s hard to say, but it’s undeniable that the protests are massive. The opposition has collected 22 million signatures calling for Morsi’s resignation—approximately a quarter of the country’s 85 million citizens. Protestors have stormed and burned the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Cairo, as well as other party offices across the country.
The protests have already turned deadly, with 16 killed and 781 injured since early yesterday morning, according to the country’s health minister.
The opposition has called for labor strikes by all public and private workers if Morsi does not resign by tomorrow afternoon.
The powerful Egyptian military issued an ultimatum, essentially giving Morsi 48 hours to compromise or the military will implement a “road map for peace.”
Egypt, which was arguably the most stable Arab state in the Middle East under former president Hosni Mubrarak’s rule of nearly 30 years, has been in turmoil since the Arab Spring hit the country in 2011.
Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood took power through legitimate democratic elections, but that has not helped them avoid conflict. Anti-Islamists have been ardent opponents of Morsi’s administration, and many blame the government for the country’s poor economic situation.
What does this all mean? Will Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood survive this wave of opposition? If Morsi loses power, will the country have democratic elections again? If they do, will a different Muslim Brotherhood candidate win?
There are a lot of questions left unanswered right now. At this point, it’s safe to say that a large segment of the population isn’t happy and won’t rest until some sort of change is made. What that change will be, though, is hard to predict.