In Cairo, tens of thousands of President Mohamed Mursi’s supporters gathered after Friday prayers to demonstrate support for the Egyptian leader ahead of anti-government demonstrations planned to coincide with the first anniversary of his inauguration on 30th June. There was no violence although feelings ran high.
Demonstrator Howeida Abu Al Magd Shazli explained why he was there: “Today we are saying no to violence and no to rebelling against legitimacy and against the elections that we carried out with great effort, and no to rebelling against the president who is legitimate.”
Another demonstrator Shawki Kelaki said: “Those people who will protest on June 30th benefited from the previous regime, so naturally they are defending those gains.”
Opposition groups said they had already gathered 15 million signatures on a petition calling for the president to step down so that new elections can be held. (He was elected with 13 million votes.)
Pro-government activists have responded by starting their own petition calling on the president to stay.