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TENSION IS HIGH IN EGYPT AS THE MILITARY DEADLINE EXPIRED

EGYPT AGAINST MURSI

EGYPT – Egypt is bracing for a showdown between the military and President Mohamed Morsi, who has rejected an army ultimatum to end a political crisis with his opponents, who have called for his resignation.

In a last-minute statement before the 4:30pm (14:30 GMT) deadline expired, the Egyptian presidency said that a coalition government should be part of a solution to the country’s political standoff but appeared to offer no new compromises.

The statement reiterated that Morsi held opposition parties responsible for obstructing a political initiative that would also set up a panel to prepare amendments to the constitution passed into law last December.

The army said on its official Facebook page that it had set no times for issuing statements or speeches, as the general command of the Egyptian armed forces was meeting with religious, national, political and youth figures.

“The General Command of the Armed Forces is currently meeting with a number of religious, national, political and youth icons … There will be a statement issued from the General Command as soon as they are done,” the army said.

The political wing of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood refused an invitation to meet the armed forces commander on Wednesday.

“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 told Reuters news agency.

Egyptian political sources also said that liberal opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei met army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday.

ElBaradei was chosen to represent the opposition National Salvation Front coalition and youth groups leading anti-Morsi street protests to negotiate with the army on their behalf.

Earlier, the army leaked details of a roadmap that includes overthrowing Morsi, scrapping a draft constitution and forming a government of independents headed by an army general.

The army has said it had to intervene after unprecedented rallies by million of Egyptians at the weekend to demand Morsi step down.

Morsi, who belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood group, in a televised address late on Tuesday vowed to stay in office at any cost.

“Egyptians across the country and even Egyptians outside the country watching from afar are incredibly worried about the situation in their country,” said Al Jazeera’s Sherine Tadros, reporting from Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

“This is probably the most critical point in Egypt since former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February 2011.”

Intense rhetoric

Eighteen people were killed and more than 200 were injured in clashes between Morsi’s opponents and supporters in Cairo overnight.

Opposition groups accuse Morsi of focusing on cementing the Brotherhood’s grip on power and failing to improve economic and social conditions more than two years after the revolution that forced Hosni Mubarak to step down.

The al-Ahram newspaper reported that the military roadmap to end the crisis also includes drafting a new constitution and setting dates for new presidential and parliamentary elections.

“My life is the price for protecting the legitimacy,” Morsi said in a televised speech late on Tuesday.

“If my blood was the price to maintain legitimacy, then I am ready for this for the sake of this nation’s stability.”

The chief of Egypt’s armed forces, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, offered a similar commitment.

“We swear to God that we will sacrifice our blood for Egypt and its people against all terrorists, extremists and ignorant” groups, a statement posted on Facebook attributing the chief said.

“The general commander of the armed forces said it was more honourable for us to die than to have the people of Egypt terrorised or threatened.”

Al-Ahram also reported that some Brotherhood leaders have been put under house arrest, a highly unpopular measure used by the Egyptian military and police under Mubarak.

Morsi’s supporters say the army’s ultimatum amounts to a coup.

 

source: Al Jazeera

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A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.