, CAIRO, Jul 1 – Egypt’s opposition on Monday gave Islamist Mohamed Morsi a day to quit or face civil disobedience after deadly protests demanded the country’s first democratically elected president step down after just a year in office.
“We give Mohamed Morsi until 5pm (1500 GMT) on Tuesday July 2 to leave power, allowing state institutions to prepare for early presidential elections,” the Tamarod movement said in a statement on its website.
Otherwise, “Tuesday, 5pm will be the beginning of a complete civil disobedience campaign.”
The health ministry said 16 people died in nationwide protests, including eight in clashes between supporters and opponents of Morsi outside the Cairo headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood movement from which he hails.
Another three people died in the central province of Assiut and one each in Fayoum, Beni Sueif and Kafr el-Sheikh provinces.
One protester suffocated to death at a rally outside the presidential palace in Cairo and another died of wounds in the coastal city of Alexandria, the ministry said.
Early on Monday, protesters set the Brotherhood’s headquarters ablaze before storming it and ransacking it, an AFP correspondent reported.
Looters left with petrol bombs, helmets, flak jackets, furniture, televisions and documents.
“This is a historic moment. The Brotherhood ruined the country, so stealing from them is justified,” one told AFP.
A senior government official told AFP that four ministers – tourism, environment, communication and legal affairs – had tendered their resignations to Prime Minister Hisham Qandil.
Tourism minister Hisham Zazou had already tried to resign last month after Morsi appointed Adel al-Khayat, a member of an Islamist party linked to a massacre of tourists in Luxor, as governor of the temple city.
Monday’s resignations were a further blow to Morsi, who since coming to power has battled with the judiciary, the media and the police.
Tamarod – Arabic for rebellion – is a grassroots campaign which says it collected more than 22 million signatures to a petition declaring a lack of confidence in Morsi.
It was behind Sunday’s protests that saw millions of people demand his departure on the first anniversary of his inauguration.