The Egyptian military chief has announced President Mohamed Morsi has been removed from power and the Egyptian constitution has been suspended.
The Muslim Brotherhood leader, who served as head of state for about a year, has been replaced by Adly Mahmoud, who is the chief justice of Egypt’s constitutional court.
Military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called for presidential and then parliamentary elections in addition to the establishment of a panel to rewrite the constitution, a national reconciliation committee that would include youth movements, and a national coalition cabinet.
Pres. Morsy urges civilians and military members to uphold the law & the Constitution not to accept that coup which turns #Egypt backwards
— Egyptian Presidency (@EgyPresidency) July 3, 2013
Sisi warned that the armed forces and police will deal “decisively” with violence responding tot he Army’s decision.
Here’s the live feed of Tahrir square.
Ahead of a 11 a.m. EDT deadline imposed by the military, President Mohamed Morsi refused to step down.
At 12:42 EDT Cairo journalist Jake Shenker tweeted: “Egypt‘s current crisis is approaching a disturbing climax.“
Egyptian troops, including commandos, then deployed near protest sites and key facilities.
Earlier a Morsi advisor said: “For the sake of Egypt and for historical accuracy, let’s call what is happening by its real name: Military coup.”
— Jeremy Bowen (@BowenBBC) July 3, 2013
— Storyful (@Storyful) July 3, 2013
Earlier the army commandeered the State TV building and staff responsible for live coverage have left the building, according to NBC’s Richard Engel.
Here’s a photo that shows the secular/Islamic make up of Egypt:
Egyptian soldiers praying on the Jemaa bridge across the nile River at sunset in Cairo. pic.twitter.com/aPOXkTFxMB
— Ivan Watson (@IvanCNN) July 3, 2013
On Tuesday Reuters reported, citing military sources, that the army had drafted a plan to suspend the constitution and dissolve the Islamist-dominated upper house of parliament if Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and his opponents fail to reach a power-sharing agreement by Wednesday.
Morsi rejected that ultimatum, defiantly claiming that no domestic or international forces would threaten his legitimacy as the elected head of state. “The price … is my life,” the Muslim Brotherhood leader said.
The opposition responded: “Morsi’s tweet is pushing [the] country toward ‘civil war,'” according to Bloomberg.
Egypt’s army commander subsequently said that the army was willing to shed its blood to defend Egypt against “any terrorist, radical or fool.”
Reuters notes that on Tuesday at least 16 people, mostly Morsi supporters, “were killed and about 200 wounded when gunmen opened fire on pro-[Morsi] demonstrators at Cairo University campus.”
Many fear that there will be much more bloodshed if the deadline passes without a deal, although no one really knows what will happen if Morsi doesn’t back down.
On June 17 Morsi won the country’s first democratic elections with 51.7% of the vote.
Morsi subsequently ordered the retirement of the top Mubarak-era military leadership, unilaterally extended his presidential powers, and approved an Islamist-crafted constitution while the economy continued to sputter.
We’ll be following the developments throughout the day.
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