Grand celebrations mark Morsi’s ouster in Egypt

Jul 01, 2016, 3:33 AM EDT
Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
(Source: UNclimatechange/flickr)

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi ordered nationwide celebrations to rejoice the anniversary of the overthrowing of the country’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi. During a televised speech on Thursday, Sisi declared the occasion a national holiday and reassured the Egyptian people that the government was working hard to ensure a better future for the country.

The official holiday, called “June 30 Revolution,” was marked by a lavish military display in the capital Cairo in addition to musical performances and free entry to museums, writes Al Jazeera. Morsi’s government was overthrown by the military in July 2013, after millions of Egyptians took to streets across the country, demanding that he be removed.

Sisi, who led the takeover, contested the presidential elections two years later and cruised to a landslide victory. Thousands of members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been executed or face trial since Sisi came to power. 

Analysts say that Sisi’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood boosted the strength of jihadists in addition to helping radicalization of more moderate political Islamists, notes Middle East Online. The government has been defending its tough measures, which it says are necessary to combat insurgency in northern Sinai, where Islamic State is expanding its presence.