Due to the uprising power of President Mohamed Morsi and upon his one year inauguration as Egypt’s President, millions of Egyptians marched in the city streets and squares across the country to call for his resignation. More than 15 million signatures were collected by the opposition, the Taramod (Rebel) Campaign on a petition demanding Morsi’s resignation at the time, whereas 13 million out of the total 26 million Egyptians voted for Morsi at the presidential elections of June, 2012. The tension in the streets of Cairo and other cities across Egypt is ever-rising and ready to explode any second with escalating incidents of violence and trauma happening almost every-day. The protests of 2013 are even larger than the ones Egypt saw in 2011; when the country had gotten together to remove the three-decade long regime of autocrat Honsi Mubarak. According to recent news from Egypt the Military has responded to the immense public pressure and has ousted Morsi. They are urging the nation’s politicians to come together in order to create an inclusive map for the country’s future which would be of some help in controlling the ongoing public violence, kicking Morsi completely out of the picture. The powerful armed forces of Egypt have given Morsi an ultimatum of 48 hours on July 5th demanding to share power and coming into agreement, or they would have to start taking unspecified actions.
The following are the run-down of Egypt’s burning problems at the moment and the reason for all the growing rage and frustration among the Egyptian public. So here are the top ten reasons fueling the Egypt Protests 2013.
10. Protests and more Protests
The International Development Center based in Cairo, Egypt has recorded almost 10,000 protests during Morsi’s first year in office. Egypt has been under this kind of turbulence since the 2011 Arab Spring uprising. Morsi has been facing big problems since his early days in the office and has witnessed some of the biggest public demonstrations in the history of Egypt. Egyptian national daily The Al-Ahram has reported nearly seven times more protests per month than in the year 2010, the last year of Honsi Mubarak’s rule.
9. Sexual harassment
The increasing number of sexual abuses and harassment on Egyptian women is also one of the major factors for the protesters wanting to see the disposal of President Morsi. About 83 percent of the entire women population in Egypt had been sexually harassed according to a 2008 study by the Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights. After the 2012 elections during 2013 the number of sexually harassed women has risen to a whopping 99.3 percent, according to a U.N. Woman Report released in May. More than 80 percent women who were surveyed during the same research said, they do not feel safe walking or being alone in the streets.
8. Centralization of Power
As Egypt was already in a situation of turmoil after the Jan 25th revolution, it was believed and supposedly expected by the civilians for the situation in their country to cool off and come into balance comparatively and set its tracks on the way to prosperity soon enough. However, fate had other plans and the 2013 uprising began, as after almost a year of presidency Morsi, in a quite bold move decided to put an end to the Mubarak-era leadership of the military and cancel its constitutional decree. With this move Morsi took back the authority to himself also acquiring powers to legislate in the absence of the parliament and giving his decisions full immunity from judicial review and barring the courts from dissolving the constituent assembly and the upper house of parliament just before the court’s decisions that could have dissolved these bodies for good. This move by Morsi marks the initial days of the protests, and the first chants calling on Morsi to leave.
7. Rising Unemployment
Another one of the raging factors that is directly linked to the frustration of the Egyptian public is the current employment rate of the country. The number of unemployed people in Egypt rose to a whooping 3.5 mill, which was about 13.2% of the entire labor force of the country. It is certainly an increase from the 12.6% before Morsi took office in June. The metaphorical jet-fuel for the protests however, is that more than 75% of these numbers are people between the ages of 15 and 29; this is helping the nation-wide unease among the Egyptian youths.
6. Anti-movement Protests
The protests in Egypt are seemingly being a bit too much for the country’s special armed forces to handle, and by the looks of it they have no clue as to what shall be done. The situation is definitely quite turbulent, with the Morsi detesters protesting for his immediate dismissal on one hand and the Morsi-supporters protesting against the movement on another. These oppositional forces have clashed several times during the 2012-13 protests for meaningless reasons, resulting in several casualties. This only causes unwanted turmoil and a hostile environment altogether for the people residing in the country.
5. Worsening Economy
A stagnant national economy has for long deprived Egypt’s 80 million citizens of sustainable economic opportunities. Yes, fixing the economy is vital for many ordinary Egyptians and that’s what they want most out of the reform they’re protesting for. It has been several years that Cairo has postponed its sorely needed structural economic reforms, Morsi rather than being focused on the issue after taking up office; he seemed to be more focused on expanding his own power and amalgamating the control of the Muslim Brotherhood. As a result the struggles in Egypt clearly give way to an important truth; Economic freedom matters.
4. The Middle Class discontent
As Egypt’s uprising discontent under the existing economy or the lack of it, is surely a great example of what is happening all over the world at the moment. It is indeed a very combustible time as we are witnessing a global awareness happening over all the ill that goes around unseen and moreover the summer of middle class discontent, almost all over the world. With all the unrest and activism taking place almost over- night, most significantly in Egypt, the middle-class public only seem to be demanding a functioning economy that works under the rule of law.
3. Increasing Crime Rate
Egypt’s public security pretty much took a straight downfall after the revolution in 2011, with ever-increasing theft, murder and sexual harassment. More than 40% of the Egyptian population lives in poverty and with the nation drowning in debt, if you thought the situation couldn’t have gotten any worse, it seemingly did; the crime rate has believed to have almost tripled since 2010. According to the Financial Times, the number of reported armed robberies increased tenfold from 233 incidents in 2010 to 2,807 incidents in 2012. Home invasions have increased by a 60 percent mark and Car thefts being tripled since the initial survey done in 2010, crime rate is also one major factor for the protesters to not give up, just yet.
Egyptians with all that they are going through are destined to suffer lot more if the economic reforms are not made soon enough. Soaring food prices, fuel shortages and electricity cuts are just an example of what else an ordinary middle-class Egyptian could be facing amidst all the chaos. According to statistics given out by the Egyptian government, between May 2012 and May 2013 the food and beverage prices have gone up by an 8.9 percent. Long lines outside gas stations due to only half the supply of fuel to fuel stations and Morsi’s administration being accused of illegal smuggling, and also the commonality of rolling blackouts all over the county are just some of the issues that have put Morsi’s future in dark, as the President, for good.
1. Lower Approval Morsi
After the Arab Spring, a lot of the world’s toughest rulers have decided that the best of action was to avoid the quite apparent, yet fatal mistake made by Egypt’s former autocrat Honsi Mubarak of stepping down, showing resistance and finally giving up power. However, it has surely help build the current conditions of double ouster for Morsi’s regime, both by the public and by the military. According to the Morsi Meter, a non-profit group founded by young Egyptians to chart the president’s record during his first 100 days in office; only 32% of Egyptians approve of Morsi’s performance in June 2013, down from the 78% in October 2012. Only 25% of those said they would re-elect Morsi if they had to vote tomorrow.
FINAL CONCLUSION: With the ongoing situation in Egypt and everything Morsi has been confronting since his first day as the President, it is evident that he too, has now joined the group of handful leaders around the world who have recently found themselves subject to a surge of populist wrath. In countries like Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile and Turkey just to name a few, the latest unfolding of events has caught them, their leaders themselves and the whole world completely off guard.
Nikhil is musician by choice, writer by profession. Currently, studying Bachelors in Hospitality.