Skip to comments.Tense Egypt awaits army move after deadline
Posted on 07/03/2013 6:22:19 AM PDT by bert
Army ultimatum to resolve political crisis expires at 14:30 GMT with leaks projecting draft constitution to be scrapped.
Egypt is bracing for a showdown between the military and President Mohammed Morsi, who has rejected an army ultimatum to end a political crisis with his opponents, vowing to stay in office.
The ultimatum expires at 4:30pm (14:30 GMT) on Wednesday but the army said on its Facebook page that it had set no times for issuing statements or speeches.
The political wing of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood refused an invitation to meet the armed forces commander on Wednesday, hours before deadline.
"We do not go to invitations (meetings) with anyone. We have a president and that is it," said Waleed al-Haddad, a senior leader of the Freedom and Justice Party told Reuters news agency.
Egyptian political sources also said that liberal opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei met army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday.
ElBaradei was chosen to represent the opposition National Salvation Front coalition and youth groups leading anti-Morsi street protests to negotiate with the army on their behalf.
Earlier, the army leaked details of a roadmap that includes overthrowing Morsi, scrapping a draft constitution and forming a government of independents headed by an army general.
The army has said it had to intervene after unprecedented rallies by million of Egyptians at the weekend to demand Morsi step down.
Morsi, who belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood group, has vowed to stay in office at any cost.
"Egyptians across the country and even Egyptians outside the country watching from afar are incredibly worried about the situation in their country," said Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros, reporting from Cairo's Tahrir Square.
"This is probably the most critical point in Egypt since former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February 2011."
Sixteen people were killed and more than 200 were injured in clashes between Morsi's opponents and supporters in Cairo overnight.
Opposition groups accuse Morsi of focusing on cementing the Brotherhood's grip on power and failing to improve economic and social conditions more than two years after the revolution that forced Hosni Mubarak to step down.
The al-Ahram newspaper reported that the military roadmap to end the crisis also includes drafting a new constitution and setting dates for new presidential and parliamentary elections.
"My life is the price for protecting the legitimacy," Morsi said in a televised speech late on Tuesday.
"If my blood was the price to maintain legitimacy, then I am ready for this for the sake of this nation's stability."
The chief of Egypt's armed forces, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, offered a similar commitment.
"We swear to God that we will sacrifice our blood for Egypt and its people against all terrorists, extremists and ignorant" groups, a statement posted on Facebook attributing the chief said.
"The general commander of the armed forces said it was more honourable for us to die than to have the people of Egypt terrorised or threatened."
Al-Ahram also reported that some Brotherhood leaders have been put under house arrest, a highly unpopular measure used by the Egyptian military and police under Mubarak.
Morsi's supporters say the army's ultimatum amounts to a coup.
CAIRO - Egypts state-run Al-Ahram newspaper said it expected President Mohamed Morsi would either step down or be removed from office on Wednesday when a deadline set by the army for resolving the countrys political crisis expires.
Egypts flagship state daily said an army road map for the future would set up a three-member presidential council to be chaired by the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court.
Opposition: Morsis speech equivalent to civil war call; 16 dead in Cairo U. clashesAl-Ahram learnt that with the end of the 48-hour period set by the armed forces ... it is expected in the hours that follow it, one of two things: either Morsi announces his resignation himself, or the declaration of his removal through the road map for the future set out by the armed forces, it said.
Al-Ahram said the road map would set up a neutral transitional government to be headed by a military leader. The transitional period would last nine to 12 months in which a new constitution would be drafted to set out a path to presidential elections.
Egypts army commander and Morsi, who represents the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, each pledged his life to defy the other as the hour approached on Wednesday that will trigger a military takeover that was prompted by mass demonstrations.
The military chiefs issued a call to battle in a statement headlined The Final Hours. They said they were willing to shed blood against terrorists and fools after Morsi refused to give up his elected office. Morsi said, The price ... is my life.
As a mass of revelers on Cairos Tahrir Square feted the army for saving the revolutionary democracy won there two years ago, supporters of the presidents Muslim Brotherhood denounced a military coup. Some clashed with security forces at Cairo University, where 16 people died and about 200 were wounded.
Morsi cannot help but see it, and once the APCs, IFVs, and tanks start moving into position, he would be a fool not to "make a deal."
We shall see.
People of Egypt learned a lot faster than the US did.....we still have our Muslim leader and he continues to destroy the country.
they’ll be back in two years to protest against (fill in the blank)
Go Egypt! Beat State!
Rah! Rah! Sis boom Bah,
Fight, fight, fight you fabulous Pharaohs!
-——a neutral transitional government to be headed by a military leader.-——
A board of directors with an officer as chairman. The other always unmentioned but powerful faction, the money men, the business interests, will have seats on the board.
The business/military axis has had enough and are exerting the true power in the country
CAIRO, Egypt -- Egypt's military moved to tighten its control on key institutions Wednesday, even putting officers in the newsroom of state TV, in preparation for an almost certain push to remove the country's Islamist president when an afternoon ultimatum expires.
Mohammed Morsi has vowed not to step down in the face of millions of protesters in the streets in the biggest anti-government rallies the country has seen.
His Islamist supporters have vowed to resist what they call a coup against democracy, and have also taken to the streets by the tens of thousands. At least 39 people have been killed in clashes since Sunday, raising fears the crisis could further explode into violence
The clock was ticking on the military's deadline, expiring around 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. (11 a.m. ET).
The military beefed up its presence inside the mammoth headquarters of state television on the banks of the Nile River in central Cairo. Crack troops were deployed in news-production areas. Officers from the army's media department moved inside the newsroom and were monitoring output, though not yet interfering, staffers said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about the arrangements.
The state TV is run by the information minister, a Muslim Brotherhood member put in the post by Morsi, and its coverage had largely been in favour of the government. But already in the past two days, the coverage saw a marked shift, with more balanced reporting showing the anti-Morsi protests along with pro-Morsi ones. State radio has seen a similar shift.
The authoritative, state-run Al-Ahram newspaper -- which also seemed to be following a military line -- reported that the military had placed several leaders of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood under surveillance and issued a foreign travel ban on the Islamist group's top leaders.
The head of the army, Defence Minsiter Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, held a group meeting with leading reform advocate Mohammed ElBaradei, Egypt's top Muslim cleric -- Al-Azhar Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb -- and Coptic Pope Tawadros II to discuss its political road map, a spokesman for the senior opposition National Democratic Front, Khaled Daoud, said on state TV.
Also attending the meeting were a representative of the new youth movement behind this week's protests and some members of the ultraconservative Salafi movements, a defence ministry official told The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
The Egyptian military has been very smart in how they have done things. 1st, last Thursday, they announced they were moving troops into the vicinity of all the major cities but would take no action unless there were massive civil violence. Morsi thought they were doing so to help support his government...but it became apparent that the troops were actually there to prepare for Morsi's deposing when, on Monday, after reveiwing the size of the protests, the military issued an ultimatum to Morsi to step down...with troops already deployed across the country to enforce it.
Now, in the face of Morsi's refusal, the military is occupying the State run TV and newspaper, and is meeting with all of the opposition, the leading reform advocate Mohammed El Baradei, Egypt's top Muslim cleric, the Coptic Christian Pope, the leader of the new youth movement behind Sunday's protests and members of the conservative Salafi movement. Clearly, a coalition that will help the nation be governed in the absence of Morsi and the Musilm Brotherhood.
Let's see now. They have a king, King Fuad II. They have a strong army. A pity there isn't a strong Christian nation left on the planet to back'em up.
Anyone got Vlad's cell #?
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