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Army ousts Egypt's President Morsi

2013-07-03 23:52:42

Mohammed Morsi
General Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi makes the announcement

The head of Egypt's army has given a TV address, announcing that President Mohammed Morsi is no longer in office

Gen Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said the constitution had been suspended and the chief justice of the constitutional court would take on Mr Morsi's powers.

Flanked by religious and opposition leaders, Gen Sisi said Mr Morsi had "failed to meet the demands of the Egyptian people".

Anti-Morsi protesters in Cairo gave a huge cheer in response to the speech.

The army's move to depose the president follows four days of mass street demonstrations against Mr Morsi, and an ultimatum issued by the military which expired on Wednesday afternoon.


Video: General Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi makes the televised
announcement

TV stations belonging to Mr Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood went off air at the end of the speech and state news agency Mena said managers at the movement's Misr25 channel had been arrested.

Minutes later, a notice went up on Mr Morsi's Facebook page denouncing the army move as a "military coup".

The statement asked Egyptian citizens - both civilians and military - to "abide by the constitution and the law and not to respond to this coup".

The ousted leader's current whereabouts are unclear. However, earlier reports said security forces had imposed a travel ban on both him and other leading figures in the Muslim Brotherhood.

'Roadmap' for the future

General Sisi said on state TV that the armed forces could not stay silent and blind to the call of the Egyptian masses.

Rana Jawad

It took the Muslim Brotherhood eight decades to come
into power. It's unlikely they ever considered it would
only last for a year.

 

The crowd in Tahrir Square roared its approval of
General Sisi's eagerly anticipated and largely expected
announcement. Millions of Egyptians from all walks of life
have felt ignored and belittled since Mr Morsi gained
power - he spoke, they say, for his party alone.

 

The army does not want the world to call this a coup. But
conventional wisdom and politics tells us this was a military
coup.

 

As the statement was read, an Egyptian woman standing
next to me said: "There is jubilation on the streets but do
they understand what's behind it?" In truth perhaps no one
does yet.

He spoke of a new roadmap for the future, and said that the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adli Mansour, would be given the task of "running the country's affairs during the transitional period until the election of a new president".

After Gen Sisi's address, both Pope Tawadros II - the head of the Coptic Church - and leading opposition figure Mohammed ElBaradei made short televised speeches about the new roadmap for Egypt's future which they had agreed with the army.

Mr ElBaradei said the roadmap aimed for national reconciliation and represented a fresh start to the January 2011 revolution.

"This roadmap has been drafted by honourable people who seek the interests, first and foremost, of the country," added Pope Tawadros.

Fireworks

The army is currently involved in a show of force, fanning out across Cairo and taking control of the capital, BBC correspondent Quentin Sommerville reports.

He described seeing eight armoured personnel carriers heading for Cairo University in Giza, where one of the main pro-Morsi demonstrations was being held.

The tens of thousands of anti-Morsi protesters on the streets of Cairo are now celebrating, with fireworks lighting up the night sky and car drivers honking their horns in excitement.

But Morsi supporters elsewhere in the city are reported to have shouted: "No to military rule.''

Source: bbc.co.uk

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