CAIRO: President Mohamed Morsi has been ousted by Egyptian army chief on Wednesday as he declared on live television that the country will now have a technocrat government and a committee will review the constitution.

The head of Egypt's army, General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi also said that the head of Egypt's Constitutional Court has been appointed head of the state. The chief justice of the constitutional court is expected to be sworn in on Thursday.

The Islamist-backed constitution has been suspended and the army chief called for an early elections.

Sisi said a panel would be formed to look into amendments to the constitution and a law would be drafted to regulate parliamentary elections.

Cheers and fireworks erupted among millions of protesters nationwide who were demanding Morsi's ouster.

After the announcement, Morsi denounced the move as an “illegal” and urged Egyptians to “peacefully resist the coup as he himself will do”, a senior aide told AFP.

Opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said the roadmap announced by Sisi “meets the the people's demands for early presidential elections”.

An interim administration that will govern Egypt in an army transition plan will determine when presidential and parliamentary elections will take place, the army spokesman told Reuters.

Two US officials say that Egyptian defence leaders have assured the US that they are not interested in a long-term rule.

The official says the leaders, in calls with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, pledged to put a civilian government in place quickly.

US officials also say the Egyptian military has said it will take steps to ensure the safety of Americans in Egypt, including the diplomatic mission.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record about the matter.

The army's dramatic move comes after millions of Egyptians took to the streets to call for his ouster, accusing him of betraying the 2011 revolution that brought him to power.

“Come here O Sisi, Morsi isn't my president,” the flag-waving protesters chanted in the square, referring to army chief and defence minister, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

In scorching heat, police officers handed out bottles of water to the demonstrators crammed around their patrol vehicle in the middle of Tahrir, epicentre of the Arab Spring-inspired uprising in 2011.

The powerful military had issued a 48-hour deadline on Monday for Morsi to meet the “people's demands”, a day after millions of protesters took to the streets across the troubled country calling for him to resign.

Thousands of people were also gathered in Nasr City in a show of support for Morsi, despite an attack by a group of men that killed 16 of them and left 200 injured overnight.

That spate of bloodletting took to almost 50 the number of people killed in Egypt since the latest crisis flared a week ago ahead of Sunday's anniversary of Morsi's first turbulent year in power. The interior ministry warned police would respond firmly to any further violence on Wednesday as the armed forces took up positions around key Cairo installations, including the state broadcaster.

Opponents accuse Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, of having betrayed the revolution by concentrating power in Islamist hands and of sending the economy into freefall.

His supporters say he inherited many problems, and that he should be allowed to complete his term, which runs until 2016.

Ahead of the deadline at 4:30 pm (1430 GMT), General Sisi held talks with top brass, a source close to the army told AFP.

Sisi later went into a meeting with opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, Coptic Christian Patriarch Tawadros II and Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's highest seat of learning.

Also present were representatives of the Salafist Al-Nur party, the Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, and members of the Tamarod movement that organised the anti-Morsi protests.

Military spokesman Colonel Ahmed Aly said the armed forces general command had “held talks with religious, political, national and youth leaders” and that it would issue a statement as soon the meeting is over.

In an early morning speech, Morsi said he had been freely elected to lead Egypt a little more than a year ago and intended to stick to his task. The only alternative was more bloodshed, he warned.

Upping the stakes, senior armed forces commanders meeting on Wednesday swore to defend Egypt with their lives, a source close to the military told AFP.

Aside from Tahrir and Nasr City, Cairo's streets were unusually quiet Wednesday, with many choosing to stay home over fears of more violence.

“The Islamists declared war on the rest of the population yesterday. I'm very scared,” said resident Soha Abdelrahman.

Developments in Egypt hit world financial markets, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average looking past solid American employment data to register a 0.19 percent fall and New York crude hitting a 14-month peak on concerns the crisis could spread and disrupt supplies.

All eyes were on the military, after government daily Al-Ahram reported details of its roadmap for the future.

The plan provides for an interim administration, of up to one year, which would include the head of the supreme constitutional court and a senior army figure.

More From This Section

Libyan premier quits after ‘traitorous attack’

Thani says he will not accept Libyans killing each other over his post, he will step down in two months.

Iraq scrambles to fight polio surge amid conflict

Officials' efforts saw the last polio case reported in 2000, until a 6-month-old boy contracted the virus in March.

Iraq attacks kill 19 as soldiers ambush militants

Attacks in Iraq left 19 people dead on Tuesday while security forces said they killed 25 militants near Baghdad.

Iraq attacks kill 10 with elections due in weeks

Attacks killed 10 people in Iraq while six militants also died just weeks before parliamentary elections.


Comments are closed.

Comments (28)

saad
July 3, 2013 6:46 pm

End of the short span of the Egyptian spring and restart of the age old winter

Bong
July 3, 2013 7:13 pm

“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 said. - When power goes to the head these sort of rantings happen

G.A.
July 3, 2013 7:31 pm

Egypt is about to taste the Pakistani political scene of the early 1990's. In nations where might is always right, it is not very easy to get rid of an entrenched military.

sarmad
July 3, 2013 9:48 pm

Pakistan’s long checkered history where military kept on grapping the power on one and another excuse is being staged in Egypt. They are on a way of long and tedious path of learning. There is no short cut in politics.

Mark
July 4, 2013 12:12 am

Well done Egypt army. Pakistan army should learn from Egypt army.If political government failed to maintain peace then it is duty of the army to take over and maintain peace.For how long the people of Pakistan will suffer. Everyday killing is going on and hundreds of people killed.

Mustafa
July 4, 2013 12:25 am

Egypt has been following America's and Army's road map for 60 years, it has produced nothing but Mubaraks.

Revolutionary
July 4, 2013 12:23 am

Congratulation to the Egyptians for the Western branded Revolution this time.

muzammil ullah khan
July 4, 2013 12:43 am

Nawaz beware . DO NOT TAKE THE CONFRONTATIONAL PATH . It could be bad for your health.

Basim
July 4, 2013 12:58 am

Praying the same happens to Pakistan!!! Bring back the Military!!

azmat khan
July 4, 2013 12:58 am

Well done military but no delay in general elections. Permanent martial rule is no solution.

Saeed
July 4, 2013 1:55 am

I do not know whether to rejoice or feel sad on what has happened in Egypt today. It is difficult for me to call this a coup or people power. The situation is too complex to put it in one basket. Nevertheless despite being a strong believer in democracy I must say this raises serious questions regarding majoritarian model of democracy in countries like Egypt. Perhaps Lipjhart's consensus model of democracy or what some others call power-sharing model of democracy is more suitable in countries like Egypt. I must say if Morsi was Zardari Egypt would not have seen this day. Egypt certainly has a lesson for the rulers of dictatorship ridden democracies of the world.

Khalid
July 4, 2013 1:59 am

Lesson for the so called democratically elected leaders in the 3rd world. Don't test the patience of the army.

mohammed
July 4, 2013 2:00 am

Back to square one that is what have been happening in Pakistan since first Marshal law. Hi Egyptian you have to wait long to get way from this Mubarak ha ha “Come here O Sisi, Morsi isn't my president, .

mohammed
July 4, 2013 2:04 am

This is not the end of the drama but the beginning of another Mubarak period.shame on you all. “Come here O Sisi, Morsi isn't my president, Ha ha ha .

G.A.
July 4, 2013 2:06 am

When was the last time a general anywhere in the world 'abdicated the throne' voluntarily? They always go kicking and screaming as Egyptians will find out after a decade or so - yet again!

sabukhara
July 4, 2013 2:18 am

Terrible. I have been telling my Egyptian friends over the last 3 years that they should watch out for the army. Not surprisingly, the Egyptian army found a reason to take over. I am not a big supporter of Islamic political movements, but if we are playing by the rules of democracy, then the Brotherhood government in Egypt had a mandate and a right to rule. And protests or not, there is no justification for the army to dismiss that government. My guess is that the army is in for the long haul. Remember Zia's promise of a quick election when he took over. This will turn out to be the major setback to reform within Islam. A turning point when you look back 3 decades from now.

S. Palijo
July 4, 2013 3:22 am

Though president Morsi has been ousted but Egypt wll remain in fragile state due to weak economic management associated with the absence of democracy. The absence of democratic institutions wl bring forth a whole host of problems. We know the roots of discontent in Egypt lie in its poverty. Almost 20% of the population is in dire poverty. Egyptians want liberal elected govt which can apply universal freedoms in their country. A pro people govt that can put an end to the corruption. But they also recognize that the roots of these problems are political. political power has been exercised by a narrow elite and that has to change.

iqbal khan
July 4, 2013 3:40 am

We need this in Pakistan as well.

izaz
July 4, 2013 4:34 am

Shades of Zia-ul-Haq. I hope the Pakistani Army doesn't draw any lessons from this!

Mustafa
July 4, 2013 5:23 am

Pakistani politicians should learn a lesson from Egypt that is "Army has the last say".

Wes
July 4, 2013 5:55 am

Egyptian version of merey azeez hamwatanon...just before they screw the country...

Syed Ahmed
July 4, 2013 6:04 am

Egypt's first freely elected president President Morsi is overthrown in Egypt. The head of Egypt's armed forces issued a declaration on Wednesday evening suspending the constitution and appointing the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Mansour, as interim head of state. The ousted leader was believed to be holed up at a Republican Guard barracks in Cairo. Religious authorities and political figures, effectively declared the removal of Morsi. Morsi, came under massive pressure in the run-up to Sunday's anniversary of his maiden year in office, with his opponents accusing him of failing the 2011 revolution. Nawaz Sharif must watch out and mend his ways to avoid similar occurrences in Pakistan.

munsif
July 4, 2013 11:00 am

I strongly endorse the action taken by Chief of the army staff of egypt. He did the right thing, He sensed that confrontation can harm a country. and he invited all parties for negatiation.

Muhammad Younus Butt
July 4, 2013 11:59 am

The ousting of a democratic and Islamic backed ideology President of Egypt Mr.Morsi by Egyptian army is not reasonable and justified. How Pakistan was lucky that in spite of very crucial period during last 5 years of PPP Government and all credit goes to Pakistan friendly opposition which blocked the way of intervening in civil government`s rule. Why in Egypt opposition did not adopt proper ways to block the ways of Egyptian Army to ouster a democratic elected president of Egypt. We Pakistani civil society condemn and strongly protest over the negative attitude of Egypt. The Islamic wings people must come out on the streets and openly condemn this act of inhuman behavior by Egyptian Army and we request them to give back the power to Mr.Morsi.This act of snatching power by force is shame able and condemnable. Before taking power by army, there must be open and freely dialogues ,but now this story is finished and Egyptian Army took this rubbish action is not logically appreciated at any cost.Egyppt will lose too much things due to sudden involvement of army.

Muhammad Younus Butt
July 4, 2013 12:00 pm

Condemnable,sad,unexpected,undemocratic,shameable action by Egyptian Army.

raja hindustani
July 5, 2013 2:17 pm

Democracy is dying in Islamic world.....sad...!!!

sisi
July 5, 2013 6:38 pm

@Mustafa: Mubarak ho tumko, shama ye suhana, mai khus hoon mere aasuoo pe na jaana.

Chodhary
July 6, 2013 11:39 am

all political parties who play the religion coin and fool the masses deserve to be ousted in such a way.

Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
Poll
From The Newspaper
Tweets