Digests | February 22, 2013

Not Even the Sky Limits Pro-Democracy Activists in Egypt

                    Morsi to the Moon?
          Source: The European Union (EEAS)

While the much anticipated time frame for parliamentary elections in Egypt has been set for 27 April 2013, frustration with the Morsi regime remains and opposition to his government is being expressed in new and creative ways. In a particularly unorthodox form of protest, the April 6 Youth Movement, a key movement within the Egyptian Revolution, posted on their official Facebook page that they have entered President Mohammed Morsi in an online competition to win a trip to outer space. They claim he is more suitable to govern the people of the moon. The online competition run by Axe, a popular men’s deodorant brand, offers to send the individual who receives the most votes to a space training camp in Florida before sending them into space with the space tourism company Space Expedition Corporation. Morsi, with 17,059 votes at the time of this posting, tops the polls and can be seen depicted in a space suit on the competition website. So far, the government has not issued an official response.

The Egyptian activists of the April 6 Youth Movement were a formidable presence on the streets of Cairo during the April 2011 protests calling for the end of Hosni Mubarak’s reign. Following Mubarak’s departure, many were supportive of candidate Morsi, seeing him as the legitimate leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, and a step in the right direction for Egypt. However, not long after his ascension to power, the group became one of his fiercest critics. The current situation in Egypt is extremely volatile as Morsi’s clumsy leadership has helped inspire an extremely polarized political environment, and the economy remains in shambles. Reports of a recent crackdown on NGO freedoms is trending on social media and opposition figures are unhappy that despite the timeframe for the elections being set, the constitution, including important election laws, remains disputed. Since the second anniversary of the revolution on 25 January, protests have become more intense and are spreading, further accelerated by the disturbances in Port Said last week. Protest is alive and well in Egypt. But with this tongue-in-cheek campaign, it seems that even the sky will not limit pro-democracy activists in Egypt.



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