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Army sets 48-hour ultimatum

The Armed Forces says it will present its own roadmap for the country if political fighting does not end on Wednesday


Egyptian opposition protesters celebrate on July 1, 2013 in Cairo's landmark Tahrir square after Egypt's armed forces gave President Mohamed Morsi (portrait) 48 hours to meet the demands of the people or it would intervene with a roadmap. (AFP Photo)
Egyptian opposition protesters celebrate on July 1, 2013 in Cairo’s landmark Tahrir square after Egypt’s armed forces gave President Mohamed Morsi (portrait) 48 hours to meet the demands of the people or it would intervene with a roadmap.
(AFP Photo)

The Armed Forces will implement a roadmap for the country if the Presidency and his opposition cannot resolve their differences within 48 hours.

“The Armed Forces reiterates its call to meet the demands of the people and gives everyone 48 hours to shoulder the burden of the historic circumstances the country is currently facing. [The army] will not tolerate anyone doing less than what is necessary to meet their responsibilities,” read the statement.

Although the military called on all political forces to reconcile, it maintained its previous rhetoric that it would not become a political actor. “The Armed Forces will not be a party in politics or governance and [will not] leave its designated role,”  going on to say that it would not interfere with the will of the people.

However, the military said the national security of the country was “at risk.”

Last week Minister of Defence and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi said political parties had a week to overcome differences ahead of 30 June demonstrations. On Sunday the Armed Forces warned that “the loss of more time will only bring us more division.”

If the opposition and supporters of President Mohamed Morsi do not reach an agreement, the army said it would set up a “roadmap” to ensure that all political factions, including the youth, would participate in running the country, also noting that it would not force out any political group.

“The message is to the president because he previously said that no changes will be made to the timing of presidential elections,” said military expert Mohamed Qadry Saeed. “The message to him is that he has to reconsider the issue and come out with a clear position. The military is taking a decisive position and wants a clear response,” he added. “Things will become clear today, whether the presidency responds or not.”

Free Egyptians Party spokesperson Shehab Wageeh called the Armed Forces’ statement “reassuring”. Wageeh said that the statement showed the Armed Forces acknowledged that “the regime of President Mohamed Morsi is illegitimate due to its failure” to manage the state’s affairs.

Tamarod campaign spokesperson Mai Wahba said the army is “the pole that’s keeping the tent up.”

“The army’s first and foremost loyalty goes out to the Egyptian people,” Wahba said. “This isn’t the Muslim Brotherhood’s army.”

Ahmed Al-Hawary, Al-Dostour party member and 30 June Front member, said that the statement clarifies that the armed forces’ are leaning towards the peoples’ will.

“The army is obviously refusing to let the situation evolve into a civil war,” Al-Hawary said. “Already Islamist movements are attacking civilians with weapons.”

Al-Hawary stated that “nobody wants a military coup”, hoping that Morsi would “come to his senses” and succumb to the people’s demands and avoid “sacrificing the Egyptian people by sticking to his stubborn position.”

The 30 June Front, initially launched by Tamarod, offered a roadmap for the phase which follows the hypothetical removal of Morsi. The roadmap involves choosing a prime minister from the national figures to take over the presidential powers and form a cabinet of efficient ministers. The Front’s roadmap would also see the delegation of the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) chairman as president; his role would be honourary, however, as the executive power would fall to the prime minister. The state’s internal and external security would meanwhile be left to the National Defence Council. The transitional period outlined in the roadmap is due to expire within six months, to be followed by presidential elections held with full judicial monitoring.

Wahba ruled out the possibility that the roadmap promised by the armed forces would contradict their roadmap. She stated that the Armed Forces’ roadmap involves only the mechanism of removing Morsi from power, and not what follows his removal.

“There is no contradiction between us and the Armed Forces,” Wahba said. “The people and the army are one.”

Al-Hawary stated that thus far, the Armed Forces are holding onto their stance of refusing to intervene in political affairs. He added that when the people took to the streets calling for the overthrow of Morsi, they did so within the context of the roadmap offered by the group which had called for the protests, which is Tamarod. He added that the Armed Forces had stressed their respect the peoples’ demands, and that those demands include the Front’s roadmap.

Al-Hawary said that although the Front would be uncompromising concerning the people’s demands, there would likely be “some give and take.”

Saad Omara, leading figure in the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), said he is yet to “examine the situation” before making any statements regarding the Armed Forces’ statement. FJP spokesperson Tarek Al-Morsi added that the party has not yet released a statement.

Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch’s executive director, stated in a personal tweet that despite “Morsi’s many problems, Egypt’s military sets a very dangerous precedent by insisting on early presidential elections” and threatening with military “coup”.

Both the presidency and the Brotherhood were scheduled to hold press conferences on Monday night following the announcement from the Armed Forces.

 

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  • lilishafinaz

    i believe that Dr. Morsy is a good man. what egypt needs is the support of the people, they have to stay united. remember how you all voted for him last year? you chose him last year because you believed that he is the best for your country. it has only been a year, the session should ends in 5 years. give him his right to make this country ‘works’ again. remember, rome was not built overnight. so does this big country.

    • Amanda Clark

      Yeah well this isn’t Rome its Egypt. The elections were fixed, more people are on the streets now than there were 2 years ago when Mubarak regime was toppled.

      If you care so much about that liar, go to Rab’aa El Adweya Square with the rest of the terrorist sheeple that stand for his bullshit. Then you can join him in Wadi El Nation prison, the prison he escaped from originally.

      • lilishafinaz

        i currently live in egypt for almost two years now. what i can see, the problem here is not really the ruler, it is the people themselves. they wanted the regime to stepped down 2 years ago, they got it. and when a better man stepped up, suddenly they are against it. they should really made their mind.

        the damages(poverty, corruption, economic problems etc) made and done by the regime were too massive (for tens of years), you cannot expect that things are gonna be fine within a year.

        • Amanda Clark

          and I have lived here for the last 15 years, am married to an Egyptian.
          I have seen the Mubarak era and Morsi’s era and I can tell you the problem with the people is 33 years of no education, this is the damage Mubarak has done to this country.
          The last thing you should call Morsi is a ‘better man’, because he is no more than a puppet on strings, Muslim Brotherhood is an underground terrorist organisation and the whole world knows that, loyal only to America and Israel. During the end of the Mubarak reign during the revolution, the muslim brotherhood broke him and many other members of the muslim brotherhood, and pushed him to the elections, lying about his plans/ ideas for the future of Egypt. They faked the elections with the help of American organisations in Egypt, and then he finds himself the leader. After one year the people are conviced he is lying about EVERYTHING, including the PHD the americans gave to him. All of Muslim Brotherhood have run out of Egypt, are hiding and most are now saying that we were never with him, shaving their beards and hiding away.
          I don’t know if you know but they found a factory on top of one of the muslim brotherhoods buildings where they found bombs, guns, tnt etc in another they found many sewing machines and materials, they were making police clothes and army clothes so they could go out cause problems leading to the people not trusting the army or police just the same as he (morsi) got a famous well known terrorist whom killed 108 tourists in Luxor in 1997 and made him a governor of Luxor city (the most famous destination for tourists in Egypt, this is his way to rule?!! One year Egypt is in more debt than before, lots and lots of young man and women have died because of muslim brotherhoods bullets because they didn’t like and didn’t want other people to hear what they were saying…
          Morsi also said that they are a peaceful group, but if people do not listen they will cut their heads off.
          Hes cut the electric and gas and now the water, yes it happened before but not like this.

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