Egyptians mark uprising anniversary with protests

Egyptians are preparing to hold demonstrations at Tahrir Square to mark the 2nd anniversary of the uprising that led to the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.

Updated: Jan 25, 2013, 12:50 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Cairo: Egyptians are on Friday preparing to hold demonstrations at Cairo`s Tahrir Square to mark the second anniversary of the uprising that led to the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak. However, today’s protests would not just be aimed at marking the anniversary but also targeted at President Mohamed Mursi and his Islamist allies.

Mursi`s secular-minded opponents are aiming to use the opportunity to rekindle a revolution that they say has been betrayed by the Muslim Brotherhood. Mursi was propelled to power by the same movement in an election last year.

"I call on everyone to take part and go out to every place in Egypt to show that the revolution must be completed," Mohamed ElBaradei, a leading liberal, said in a statement.

"It will be against the Brotherhood," said Ahmed Maher, founder of the April 6 movement that helped mobilize the uprising against Mubarak through social media. "The goals of the revolution have not been realized yet," he told a leading news agency.

Inspired by Tunisia`s uprising against President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, Egypt`s revolution helped set off more revolts in Libya and Syria. But the sense of common purpose that united Egyptians at the time has given way to conflict that has grown only worse and last month triggered lethal street battles.

The anniversary will once again showcase the divide between the Islamists and their secular opponents. The Brotherhood has decided against mobilizing in the street for the occasion, a decision that could reduce the likelihood of confrontation.

Mursi, in a speech marking the Prophet Mohammad`s birthday, called on Egyptians to mark the anniversary "in a civilized, peaceful way that safeguards our nation, our institutions, our lives".

Mursi faces discontent on multiple fronts.

His opponents say he and his group are seeking to dominate the post-Mubarak order. They accuse him of showing some of the autocratic impulses of the deposed leader by, for example, driving through a controversial new constitution last month.

The Brotherhood dismisses such criticism as unfair. It accuses its opponents of failing to respect the rules of the new democracy that put the Islamists in the driving seat by winning elections.

Six months into office, Mursi is also being held responsible for an economic crisis caused by two years of turmoil. The Egyptian pound has sunk to record lows against the dollar.

(With Agency inputs)