The Egyptian army chief ousted Islamist President Mohammad Mursi on Wednesday and announced the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court caretaker leader.
“President Mohammad Mursi has failed to meet the demands of the Egyptian people,” Abdel Fattah al-Sissi said in a televised address to the nation.
He said that the Islamist-drafted constitution will be suspended and early presidential and parliamentary elections will be held, adding that a technocrat cabinet will be appointed to run the country during a transition period, which he did not specify.
The military chief said there will be a committee tasked with reviewing the constitution.
The national reconciliation committee will involve youth movements, said Gen. Sissi, adding that the army agreed on the political roadmap with political and other public figures.
Leading Egyptian Muslim and Christian cleric supported the roadmap.
Ahmed al-Tayeb, grand imam of al-Azhar institution, which is Sunni Islam’s highest seat of learning, and Pope Tawadros – head of the Coptic Church – both delivered short speeches following the announcement of the military roadmap.
The Muslim cleric called for early presidential elections, while Tawadros said the roadmap offered a political vision and would ensure the security of all Egyptians.
Opposition leader Mohammad ElBaradei, in turn, said that the 2011 revolution – which toppled Egyptian President Hosi Mubarak – has been re-launched.
The army’s plan meets the demands for early presidential polls, he added.
Meanwhile, ousted Egyptian president’s Facebook page quoted Mursi as saying that the army latest move was “a full coup.”
“Mohammad Mursi, the president of the Arab Republic of Egypt, stresses that the measures announced by the Armed Forces' General Command, are considered a "military coup," with full pillars, and this is rejected,” Mursi said, calling on his supporters to defy the decision.
The Muslim Brotherhood website said that “millions” were gathering in the streets to defy the military measures.
Qotb al-Araby, of Freedom and Justice Party, told Al Arabiya that it was an “honor” for the Muslim Brotherhood and M Mursi to be ousted by the military.
“The brotherhood was excluded by a military coup and this is an honor to the movement. It was not excluded by democracy ballots,” he said.
“We are proud that we were excluded by a military coup not by the ballot boxes,” Araby added.
He said “no one can exclude the Muslim Brotherhood from Egyptian political scene, stressing that this movement is not fragile and has existed for more than 80 years.”
Former Foreign Minister Hamdy Saleh told Al Arabiya the military move is “no coup” because the “the military followed the people and was not in the front line.”
“What happened was not a military coup… it’s a coup by the people,” he said. “What happened now is a correction of Egyptian revolution,” Hamdy added.
Ayman Ali, an aide of the newly ousted president said that Mursi had been moved to an undisclosed location. He did not disclose any details.
Millions of protesters demanding the ouster of the Islamist president cheered following the army’s announcement. Fireworks lit up Cairo’s sky while army helicopters dropped small Egyptian flags on the crowd. Elsewhere, pro-Mursi demonstrators shouted: “No to military rule.”
“The people and the army are one hand,” protesters cheered in the square, amid the roar of horns and chanting, a Reuters witness said.
(With AFP, Reuters)
For the latest developments on the unrest in Egypt, click here.
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