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Political showdown nears its climax across Egypt

Political showdown nears its climax across Egypt

Press TV

The political showdown in Egypt nears its climax as military deadline for President Mohamed Morsi to resolve the North African country’s political crisis is expiring.

Supporters and opponents of President Morsi staged rival rallies across the capital, Cairo, on Wednesday evening as the Army’s 48-hour deadline for the president to yield to the demands of the demonstrators or face military intervention approached.

Meanwhile, more than 47 people have been killed and nearly 1,500 injured in clashes between supporters and opponents of Morsi since last week.

Morsi has insisted that he will not step down, vowing to protect his legitimacy. The embattled president says people chose him in a free election and that he feels obliged to stay in office.

In the meantime, an Egyptian government spokesman has suggested that it would be better for Morsi to die in defense of democratic values.

In another development, senior military commanders held emergency talks after President Morsi rejected their deadline to reach a compromise with his opponents, stressing that the army has vowed to defend Egypt against any “terrorists, radicals or fools.”

Senior Egyptian opposition figure, Mohamed ElBaradei, the top cleric of Al-Azhar Mosque, and the Coptic pope have met the country’s Army Chief Abdul Fatah Khalil Al-Sisi to discuss a political roadmap for Egypt.

ElBaradei said President Morsi has “lost his mind,” calling on the Army to protect the lives of the Egyptian people.

The ruling Muslim Brotherhood has noted that Egyptians will not remain calm in the face of a military rebellion with deputy leader of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, Essam el-Erian, adding that those who are betting that the people will simply accept a military revolt are mistaken.

A number of Egyptian officials, including Presidential spokesmen, Ehab Fahmy, and Omar Amer, cabinet spokesman Alaa al-Hadidi, Foreign Minister Kamel Amr and the ministers of tourism, environment, communication and legal affairs, have resigned amid the chaos.

Several political groups say the government is dominated by Muslim Brotherhood. The opposition also accuses Morsi of deviating from the 2011 revolution that toppled the Western-backed regime of Hosni Mubarak.

Morsi’s supporters, however, say the president is cleansing Egyptian institutions of corruption. They also believe he needs time to put into practice the principles of the 2011 revolution.

Egypt has witnessed continuing anti-government protests since Morsi took office in June 2012 in a landmark election held following the ouster of Mubarak.

Several Egyptian clerics and some religious circles have warned against a civil war and called on both sides to be calm.


Al-Ahram Reports Details of Egypt’s Army Roadmap

Al Manar

Egyptian daily al-Ahram looked into details of the roadmap the army had earlier warned it would implement if embattled President Mohammad Mursi didn’t solve the current crisis in the country.

The government daily reported in its online edition that the army told Mursi to step down if he could not come up with a plan that would satisfy the masses calling for him to go, or face being removed.

The plan provided for an interim administration of up to a year to replace him, which would include the head of the supreme constitutional court and a senior army figure, the paper reported.

Al-Ahram pointed out that the constitution, controversially approved by Morsi’s Islamist allies last December, would be suspended for up to a year while a new one was drawn up.

There would be presidential and legislative elections under terms set by the new constitution, which itself would be put to a referendum.


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