Protests broke out all over Egypt this weekend, marking Mohamed Morsi’s unsuccessful first year as president. Egypt has been plagued with economic despair for a long time. Many believed the country's conditions might improve after former-president Hosni Mubarak left power. But food and gasoline prices have remained high, as have unemployment rates. And the tourism industry, once an economic powerhouse, tanked.
Morsi entered office as Egypt’s new hope. Many were skeptical of his commitment to democracy and freedom because of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood past. Yet he asserted that he was no longer a member. He helped draft a new constitution. He diversified his cabinet. But as time went on, Morsi’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood began to show themselves. He was perceived not as a democratic leader, but an Islamist.
The protests that began this weekend are the largest ever in Egyptian history. The numbers are not certain, but are definitely in the millions.
On top of that, a grassroots organization called Tamarod — Arabic for rebel — raised a petition demanding Morsi’s resignation and new elections. Twenty-two million people signed.
What looms now is the 48-hour ultimatum the Egyptian Army gave Morsi. They told Morsi he could either succumb to both citizens’ demands and relinquish political power or that the Army would remove him if stayed put.
The ultimatum deadline is 5 p.m. (Egypt-time) or 11 a.m. ET.
Now we wait.