Is the clock ticking for Mursi? Opposition sets deadline for his ouster

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Egypt's opposition rebel movement (named “Tamarod” in Arabic) announced early Monday a deadline for President Mohammed Mursi to cede power.

The group gave Mursi until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday to quit, threatening escalated protests if he doesn’t.

"(Mursi) has until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2 to leave power. He must do this in order for Egyptian state institutions to prepare for early presidential elections," the movement said in its first official statement published on its website.

The statement warned that if Mursi does not comply with their request, it will call on Egyptians to gather in all protest hotspots to march towards al-Quba presidential palace in Cairo.

"This date (July 2 at 5:00 p.m.) can be considered the beginning of a general civil disobedience for the sake of implementing the will of the Egyptian people."

The movement also called on "state institutions, such as the army, police and the judiciary, to be biased towards the prevalent [anti-Mursi] sentiment seen in the masses of Egyptians in Tahrir Square and nationwide."

It added that protests will resume and warned that the protests could drag the country into a civil war.

"It's no longer possible to accept any halfway solutions and there's (no other choice) but to peacefully end the Brotherhood’s power and call for holding early presidential elections."

Opposition leaders were to meet on Monday afternoon to plot their next move, Reuters news agency reported.

As Egypt appeared deeply divided on Sunday with the escalation of violence and millions gathering to protest against Mursi, the office of the president said it was open for dialogue with the opposition.

“Dialogue is the only way through which we can reach an understanding... The presidency is open to a real and serious national dialogue,” presidential spokesman Ehab Fahmy said in a press interview broadcast by Al Arabiya.

Fahmy called on protesters to maintain “the peaceful nature” of their protest, describing anti-Mursi demonstrations as an example of free expression in Egypt.

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