Egypt's presidency rejects army ultimatum: statement

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (C) meets with his prime minister Hisham Kandil (3rd L) and other ministers in Cairo on July 1, 2013. — Photo by AFP
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi (C) meets with his prime minister Hisham Kandil (3rd L) and other ministers in Cairo on July 1, 2013. — Photo by AFP

CAIRO: Egypt's presidency rejected an ultimatum issued Monday by the army and said it would continue with its own plan for national reconciliation.

The army had warned President Mohamed Morsi it would intervene if he failed to meet the demands of the people within 48 hours.

In a statement, the presidency said the army declaration, which had not been cleared by the presidency, could cause confusion, and the presidency would continue on its own path towards national reconciliation.

The statement denounced “any declaration that would deepen division” and “threaten the social peace” in the country.

Morsi was consulting “with all national forces to secure the path of democratic change and the protection of the popular will”, it added.

“The civil democratic Egyptian state is one of the most important achievements of the January 25 revolution,” the statement continued, referring to the 2011 uprising that toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak.

“Egypt will absolutely not permit any step backward whatever the circumstances,” it added.

Morsi's supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood say that in defending him, they are defending the legitimacy of the first democratically elected president, who has only been in office a year.

Monday's army statement, which was read out on television, said: “If the demands of the people are not met in this period... (The armed forces) will announce a future roadmap and measures to oversee its implementation.”

It received a rapturous welcome from Morsi's opponents who have been camped out in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

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Comments (3) Closed

muzammil ullah khan
Jul 02, 2013 09:21am

Similar situation is most likely to arise in Pakistan 3 years down the line when Nawaz would have lost his legitimacy like he did the last time when he had come to power with a "heavy mandate" of 2/3rd majority . It is very important for Nawaz Sharif to shun the politics of confrontation which he has already started with the help of his friend the CJP . I hope he has learnt his lesson and will try to take all institutions with him rather than start with an approach akin to the one he followed the last time .

Jul 02, 2013 07:16pm

The Egyptians pressing the 'self-destruction' button themselves.

Imran Sheikh
Jul 02, 2013 09:59pm

The basic question is: if an elected Government adopts an agenda that some of the people do not agree with, is there any point at which they can legitimately overthrow the such a Government through violent activism, before expiry of the Government's term? I think outside a majority vote by Parliament, which a sitting Government controls and hence is unlikely, a Government cannot be removed before it's term is over, when it can be replaced by a different Government by the voters. If every group that disagrees with Government policy can overthrow it by violent protest, there will be anarchy. The system chosen by any country for forming Government must be respected, and unpleasant consequences accepted as part of choosing a democratic system.