President Morsi’s office announced that it rejects the ultimatum set by the military for the politicians to fix the crisis in Egypt in 48 hours. In a statement, the president’s office says that the Army did not consult in Morsi prior to making their ultimatum public, and that the Army’s message is rife with dubious phrases that can cause confusion.
The president’s office emphasized, however, that Morsi is committed to his plan to promote national reconciliation.
Meanwhile, thousands of Morsi supporters took to the streets in a march from Giza to Al-Nahda Square outside Cairo University, the site of previous pro-Morsi rallies. The march included men, women and children carrying signs with President Morsi’s pictures, and chanting: “Legitimacy is a red line,” meaning that the president’s democratic legitimacy cannot be undone by military fiat.
Six government ministers have announced on Monday that they are resigning as a way of showing their support for the opposition’s demands. Among them were Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr. The ministers of parliamentary affairs, tourism, environment and communication also tendered their resignations to Prime Minister Hisham Qandil.
Amr was appointed Egypt’s foreign minister when the country was still ruled by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), after President Hosni Mubarak was toppled. He retained the post after Morsi’s election, and survived two cabinet reshuffles.
The Miami Herald’s Frida Ghitis wrote that one of the most striking aspects of the massive protests that have broken out across Egypt is the intensity of the people’s anger directed at the Muslim Brotherhood. In her opinion, the failure of the Brotherhood’s man to introduce positive changes in Egypt, while imposing a plethora of ideological, religious rules on the country, may signal the end of this movement as a viable political alternative in Egypt and the rest of the Muslim world.
“What happens to the Brotherhood in Egypt will affect Brotherhood parties across the region. Already its image of incompetence and non-inclusiveness is a stain that will be difficult to erase,” Ghitis wrrote.
A NY Times editorial also suggested the primary blame for the current upheaval in Egypt falls on Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. “Persecuted and excluded from political life for decades, they refused to grasp what was required to lead the world’s largest Arab country. They used elections to monopolize power, denigrate adversaries and solidify ties with Islamist hard-liners.”
Egypt’s desperate social needs remained largely untouched, with no real progress in the areas of security, jobs, education, and inflation, says the Times. “Opposition groups, meanwhile, have proved hugely successful at harnessing discontent and bringing people into the streets but not at articulating a coherent message, winning elections and projecting themselves as an effective alternative political force.”
President Morsi spoke on the phone with President Obama overnight. During a visit to Tanzania Monday, Obama said the world is watching and worried about the developments in Egypt.
“Honestly, we’re all concerned about what’s happening in Egypt and we’ve been monitoring it closely,” said President Obama. “Our commitment to Egypt has never been around any particular individual or party. Our commitment has been to a process.”
Obama also urged President Morsi and the opposition to resolve their differences through dialogue.