Protesters across Egypt have erupted into celebration following news that Egypt’s Armed Forces has removed President Morsi from power. The move came following the expiration of an ultimatum that was issued by the Military 48-hours ago, demanding the President respond to the Egyptian people’s aspirations.
In a televised address, the Military ushered in a new era in Egypt’s future and declared the removal of President Morsi from office. Head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Mansour, will rule Egypt during the transitional period.
Armed Forces Chief outlined the roadmap for the coming months, which will include:
1. Suspending the constitution and forming a committee to look into amendments of the constitution.
2. Holding early Presidential elections, until which the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court will be in charge.
3. Creating a national coalition government that represents the aspirations of all Egyptians
At the start of the statement, Armed Forces Chief Abdel Fattah Al Sisi stated that since 2012, national dialogue had been accepted by all parties except the Presidency. He added that the Military expressed its concerns over threats to the Egyptian people on June 30.
However, the Military Chief stated that it was Morsi’s final speech that forced the Armed Forces to take decisive action in order to meet the demands of the people. In his speech, Morsi refused to bow to the Military’s ultimatum and vowed to defend “legitimacy” with his blood. Morsi had called for the Egyptian people to stand with him in the name of “legitimacy” and warned against attempts by “thugs” and “remnants of the former regime” to violate the “legitimacy and constitutionality” of his Presidency. The word “legitimacy” was stated 57 times, in a speech that was seen as a veiled threat towards the Military.
Following the Military Chief’s statement, Coptic Pope Tawardors and Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed El-Tayyed, and Dr. Mohammed El-Baradei (spokesperson of the June 30 revolution) all gave a short speech in support of the Military’s move. The three individuals all declared that this roadmap achieves the aspirations of the Egyptian people.
In response to the Military’s moves, the Egyptian Presidency’s Twitter account stated that Morsi believed “measures announced by Armed Forces leadership represent a full coup categorically rejected by all the free men of our nation.”
Post-Revolution Egypt – Clamping Down On Islamists
Minutes following the conclusion of the Armed Forces’ televised address, Islamist-run channels, including Hafez, Al-Nas, and the Brotherhood run Misr 25 have all been taken off-air. Early reports indicate that several Islamist television hosts, including Khamees from Misr 25 and Khaled Abdallah from Al-Nas, were arrested on charges of inciting violence.
Earlier in the day, reports indicated that travel bans were issued for Former President Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide Mohammed Badei, Deputy Supreme Guide Khairat El-Shater, and 230 other leading Islamist figures and members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The bans were in response to overnight violence at Cairo University that killed at least 28 people and injured more than 300.
Security and military sources had declared that Morsi was moved to an undisclosed location after being put under house arrest. However, during the Military’s televised address, Morsi’s current state was not mentioned and it is unclear where the Former President is currently located.
In preparation to expected violence following Morsi’s toppling, Egypt’s Armed Forces had deployed across Egypt at vital locations to ensure the protection of protesters and the state’s institutions. Thousands of soldiers, accompanied by armoured vehicles, filled Egypt’s streets just hours before the Military’s statement.
Today, July 3rd 2013, marked the fourth day of Anti-Morsi protests that have been called “the largest of their kind in the history of mankind” after attracting up to 30 million protesters nation-wide. The protests had initially been called for by the Tamarod (Rebellion) Campaign which collected more than 23 million signatures in a petition that called for the removal of confidence from Former President Morsi.
[Article is being updated as new information arrives]