One giant leap for Egypt? Group rallies to ‘send’ Mursi to Moon


An Egyptian opposition group is using a novel way to protest against President Mohammed Mursi: sign him up for a chance to win a trip to space.

The April 6 Youth Movement said on its official Facebook page on Thursday that it had entered the Islamist leader’s name in the online contest because it wanted to be rid of him. It called on supporters to vote for the president so he’d have a chance to win the trip into space.

There was no immediate response from the president’s press office to an email seeking comment.

“For sure, no one in the universe can put up with blatant lies, reneging on promises except for the brotherly people of the moon,” the group wrote on its post.

“It is for this reason that the president needs your votes. President Mursi, we wish you safe travels.”

April 6 was a driving force behind the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak’s regime. Many of its supporters backed Dr Mursi in the June 2012 election he narrowly won to become Egypt’s first freely elected president.

But later, the group became among the fiercest critics of the president and his Muslim Brotherhood, the fundamentalist group from which he hails. The opposition accuses Dr. Mursi of monopolising power and going back on campaign promises to have an inclusive government and introduce far reaching reforms.

Dr Mursi’s supporters say the new government cannot immediately fix years of neglect and poor administration from Mubarak’s 29-year rule.

The group also posted a collage of Dr Mursi, who is a U.S.-trained engineer, in a white space suit.

“I want to go to space because I completed my mission,” April 6 mockingly quoted Dr Mursi as saying below his image.

The contest is being run by Axe, a brand of men’s grooming products. It promises to send 22 people to the edge of space and back aboard a private spaceship. For the competition, Axe teamed up with US astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon during NASA’s Apollo 11 mission in 1969.

Contestants sign up and then get their friends to vote for them. Those with the most votes move to the next stage where they compete in their own country for a chance to go into space. The top recruits advance to a space camp in Orlando, Florida, where they are to take part in three training missions. A panel of space experts chooses those contestants they think are prepared to make the trip into space.