The 48-hour ultimatum was issued by the Egyptian army for Muslim Brotherhood aligned President Mohamed Morsi to step down and Monday as protests raged in the streets of Cairo. It was deemed that Morsi—voted in by 51%–had “failed to meet the demands of the Egyptian people.” according to the army. Morsi refused to leave or to even bother acknowledging the ultimatum despite having the backing of only the Muslim Brotherhood, but no military force to keep him in power. As result, over three hours ago General Adbel Fattah al-Sisi declared that Morsi was out of power in a coup that will see both the Islamic-based constitution suspended and a new, democratic ruling of Egypt.
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In a televised announcement, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi stated that the interim head of state role will be filled by the current President of the supreme constitutional court and with assistance from both an interim council and a technocratic government. As suggested, this is a placeholder until proper elections are held for president and parliament. He further stated that “Those in the meeting have agreed on a roadmap for the future that includes initial steps to achieve the building of a strong Egyptian society that is cohesive and does not exclude anyone and ends the state of tension and division,” Celebration exploded from the anti-Mursi protestors in Tahrir Square as it was announced that Morsi was out of office.
The protests came about due to public protests to former president Morsi implementing Islamic policies effectively crossing the line with liberals and secularists. Another cause was the economic fumbling of Egypt by Morsi as oil is running low, tourism is all but gone, and other chunks of mismanagement. In trying to paint Morsi’s name favorably, a statement was released by spokesman Ayman Ali saying that “It is better for a president, who would otherwise be returning Egypt to the days of dictatorship, from which God and the will of the people has saved us, to die standing like a tree, rather than be condemned by history and future generations for throwing away the hopes of Egyptians for establishing a democratic life.”
As a means of trying smooth things over, Morsi’s office offered a coalition government as a possible solution to the problem. The “solution” fell flat as opposition refused to meet with him instead sending the armed forces commander.
The military took up posts outside of the state broadcasting HQ located on the Nile River bank. Armored vehicles also held a parade near the presidential palace. Most importantly perhaps, they also banned former president Morsi as well as the senior leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood from leaving the country with a list of roughly 40 members being sent to airport police.
“There is only one thing we can do: we will stand in between the tanks and the president,” Gehad El-Haddad, spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood said to Reuters.
As expected, Morsi refused to acknowledge the coup by the military. Currently Morsi is at Republican Guard barracks protected by barbed wire and troops. It is located in a Cairo suburb and is close to the presidential palace. Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram informed that the military notified Morsi that he was no longer President as of 17:00 GMT (7PM). Morsi came into power in 2011 following the ousting of Hosni Mubarak, the fourth President of Egypt during the Arab Spring, which was a time of political unrest in the region.