Egypt opposition calls for early elections

Egypt`s main opposition coalition rejected President Mohammed Mursi`s offer for dialogue and called for early elections.

Updated: Jun 28, 2013, 08:37 AM IST

Cairo: Egypt`s main opposition coalition on Thursday rejected President Mohammed Mursi`s offer for dialogue and called for early elections ahead of mass protests planned against him on June 30.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the main opposition bloc the National Salvation Front, slammed Mursi and said, "President Morsi`s speech yesterday made us more insistent on calling for early Presidential Elections to achieve goals of the revolution atop of which are the social justice."

In his speech on Wednesday, Mursi had warned that political divisions in Egypt "threaten to paralyse" the country.

In a televised speech to mark his turbulent first year in power, Mursi promised reforms and called for national dialogue, as tensions mounted ahead of mass rallies.

ElBaradei said the front was totally sure millions of people would take to the streets on June 30 in peaceful revolutions to rectify the path of the revolution.

"The front supports the popular request of returning to ballots for presidential and parliamentary elections after a transitional period with a government of national capabilities which would tackle files of economy, security and social justice," the Nobel Peace Laureate and a former head of the UN nuclear watchdog said.

"The President ... did not take responsibility for the polarisation he has caused among the sons of one nation since taking office," ElBaradei said.

"Nothing will change our determination to go out on June 30 everywhere in Egypt. We are confident that the Egyptian masses will go out in their millions in peaceful protests that fill the streets and squares of Egypt on Sunday June 30."

He said that nonviolence is the strength of the opposition block.

Egypt`s opposition figures had slammed President Mursi`s speech, saying it will contribute to mounting calls for his removal from power, Ahram Online reported.

`The Rebel campaign`, a mammoth anti-Mursi signature drive, has been the main force behind calls for mass anti-regime protests.

The speech came at a time when the opposition is making final preparations for mass rallies Sunday, the first anniversary of the Mursi`s inauguration.

Islamists, meanwhile, are planning their own show of strength in support of the beleaguered President on Friday.

The rebel campaign said that the perceived failure of Mursi`s speech will help drum up greater support for 30 June rallies.