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Egypt Bracing for Protests

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By William Tucker

June 30th may shape up to be a really bad day for Egypt. Those political movements that stand in opposition to President Morsi have called for mass protests to take place on the one year anniversary of Morsi’s inauguration. In response, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has called for counterdemonstrations to support Morsi and his agenda. The protests will likely take place around the country and violence is a very real possibility. In this round of demonstrations, the opposition movement Tamarod, or rebellion, has called for its supporters to surround government and Muslim Brotherhood buildings for a prolonged sit-in. The last time this type of protest occurred, the Brotherhood responded with violence that killed seven and wounded many more. Whether this will lead to an escalation in violence is unknown at this time, but it is reasonable to expect that Tamarod is expecting such a response. How they’ve prepared for it, however, is unknown.

Egypt hasn’t fared too well since the military coup that removed long-time president Hosni Mubarak. Though the nation has transitioned to a democratic model, the Muslim Brotherhood is seen as undermining that transition by the opposition. Though political differences are expected in any nation, along with the associated protests, there are serious issues that Egypt is facing – economics chief among them. The prices of household staples has risen, fuel distribution is a problem, and corruption in both government and private industry is acting as an arrestor on economic development. Naturally, the violence and perceived government instability hasn’t done much to foster foreign investment, either. It is accurate to say that this isn’t all Morsi’s fault, but as president of Egypt he will be held accountable and must take ownership of the problems. That said, the opposition seems out of patience and these upcoming demonstrations will most certainly test his presidency, though they are unlikely to derail it.

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