Morsi driven out by Egyptian army

Published: July 3, 2013
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A poster of Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi saying, "No substitute for the legitimacy". PHOTO: REUTERS

A poster of Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi saying, "No substitute for the legitimacy". PHOTO: REUTERS

CAIRO, EGYPT: As the deadline set by the Egyptian army expired, troops rolled into Cairo and Alexandria and forced the democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi from his office.

Troops took over the state television on Wednesday. Hours later, the Egyptian military commander General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi addressed the nation in a televised speech and laid out the road map for the return of democracy to the country.

Al-Sisi said that the Egyptian Constitution was temporarily suspended, and that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court will be incharge for the transition period.

He added that the Egyptian army had acted after it was called on by the people to protect them. He added that President Morsi, despite numerous meetings and chances, had failed to reconcile.

President Morsi’s aide in a statement on his official Facebook page had earlier called the army’s efforts as a “military coup.”

Earlier, Egypt President Mohamed Morsi had offered a consensus government, as the military’s deadline to the President to meet the demands of his people or face intervention expired on Wednesday at 4:30pm.

Morsi rejected the ultimatum and insisted he would defend his constitutional legitimacy to the end, raising fears of a clash as supporters and opponents of the president took to the streets in their thousands.

Egypt’s army commander and Morsi each pledged to die for his cause as a deadline neared on Wednesday that would trigger a military takeover backed by protesters.

Military chiefs, vowing to restore order in a country racked by demonstrations over Morsi’s policies, issued a call to battle in a statement headlined “The Final Hours”. They said they were willing to shed blood against “terrorists and fools” after Morsi refused to give up his elected office.

Less than three hours before the ultimatum was due to expire for Morsi to agree to share power or make way for an army-imposed solution, the president’s spokesperson said it was better that he die in defence of democracy than be blamed by history.

In an emotional, rambling midnight television address, Morsi said he was democratically elected and would stay in office to uphold the constitutional order, declaring: “The price of preserving legitimacy is my life.”

Liberal opponents said that showed he had “lost his mind”.

Two army armoured vehicles took up position outside state broadcasting headquarters on the Nile River bank and most staff were evacuated from the building, security sources said.

The state news agency MENA said civil servants were occupying the cabinet office and would not let Prime Minister Hisham Kandil enter the building.

The official spokesperson of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement said supporters were willing to become martyrs to defend him.

“There is only one thing we can do: we will stand in between the tanks and the president,” Gehad El-Haddad told Reuters at the movement’s protest encampment in a Cairo suburb that houses many military installations and is near the presidential palace.

“We will not allow the will of the Egyptian people to be bullied again by the military machine.”

The Egypt25 television station owned and run by the Brotherhood was continuing to broadcast live split-screen coverage of pro-Morsi demonstrations.

The state-run Al-Ahram newspaper said Morsi was expected to either step down or be removed from office and the army would set up a three-member presidential council to be chaired by the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court.

A military source said he expected the army to first call political, social and economic figures and youth activists for talks on its draft roadmap for the country’s future.

Political sources said armed forces commander General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met the main liberal opposition leader, Nobel peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, the heads of the Muslim and Christian religious authorities and leaders of smaller parties on Wednesday. A military source denied that Sisi and ElBaradei were meeting.

A military spokesperson said there was no time set for an official statement or speech by the armed forces command.

Sisi had called in a statement on Monday for Morsi to agree within 48 hours on power-sharing with other political forces, saying the military would otherwise set out its own roadmap for the country’s future.

More than 20 people have died and hundreds have been injured in clashes between Morsi’s supporters and opponents since the eruption of mass protests on June 30.

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Reader Comments (40)

  • Nikos Retsos
    Jul 3, 2013 - 9:12PM

    It was apparent from the beginning of Mr. Morsi’s election that the U.S. was not happy with him, nor with his trip to Tehran, Iran, afterward to join a conference of 123 anti-American and pro-Iranian states. From that point on, Mohammed Morsi became a Salvador Allende-like political figure that the U.S. would do anything to overthrow, and return Egypt to a Mubarak-like figure that it could control. Even though the U.S. pretends publicly to support Morsi – because he was elected, and the U.S. pretends publicly to support democracy, I have no doubt as a historian that the opposition to Morsi has been orchestrated, funded, and designed by the U.S. This is not just my opinion; this has been standard U.S. policy after WWII.

    The U.S. would never have accepted a government in Egypt headed by the Muslim Brotherhood which the U.S. had forced Mubarak to hunt, prosecute, jail, and torture – including the famed Egyptian cleric Abu Omar that the CIA kidnapped in Italy, and turned over to Egypt to be tortured and kept in prison.
    He was released from prison only after Italian judge Joseph Spataro issued arrest warrants for the 12 CIA agents who kidnapped him. The warrants are still in force, but the U.S. refused to extradite the 12 CIA agents to Italy.

    Now. Can anyone believe that the U.S. would have allowed Morsi to govern Egypt, when the U.S. had forced Mubarak to prosecute Morsi and stuff him in prison for years? What happens today in Egypt is a U.S. funded, armed, and supported Egyptian army as it what happened in Venezuela when U.S bribed and supported Venezuelan Generals arrested and overthrew the elected leader, the late Hugo Chavez. Fortunately for Chavez, General Morales, the commander of the army’s armored (tanks) division refused to take a large bribe – as he told the CBS News, 60 Minutes Paul Simon- to join the coup, and send helicopters with commandoes to free Chavez by force, then arrested the coup plotters. This scenario is playing now in Egypt against Morsi, but the U.S. has prepared the ground with funding of the opposition parties to make the Egyptian Army’s overthrow of Mr. Morsi as “a demand by the Egyptian people!”
    It also happened in Greece back in 1974 when a CIA instigated military coup overthrew the anti-American prime minister Andreas Papandreou and then the caretaker prime minister Mr. Kanelopoulos.

    I predict there would be bloodshed in Egypt, and by funding the subversion of Mr. Morsi, the U.S. can pretend its an internal matter. If anybody doubt, keep this in mind: “When the U.S. identifies the European ambassadors of its allies as “targets”, and spies on all their activities – as Mr. Snowden’s documents proved, would it be possible that the U.S. would allow a Muslim Brotherhood – a jihadist and formerly deemed terrorist organization to the U.S. – president to govern Egypt? Not a chance! All the turmoil in Egypt is not ingrown; it is designed in Washington! Nikos Retsos, retired professor

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  • ModiFied
    Jul 3, 2013 - 9:13PM

    Events in Egypt should be eye opener to Saudis, Qataris and their backers. Time to read the writings on wall, lest its too late. Time for Pakistan too do her soul searching and stop the path of exporting Islamic Jihad. Next phase might turn out to be totally unthinkable. Time to act is now and not tomorrow or day after.

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  • True Pakistani
    Jul 3, 2013 - 10:29PM

    @ModiFied:
    Iran, Syeria, USA are ally behind the scene. millions of muslims killed in syeria. Shame on Egyptian army.

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  • B
    Jul 3, 2013 - 10:31PM

    @Nikos Retsos:
    Thank you for outlining the influnce of USA. Pakistan should understand the words ” You are with us our against us” End of 2014 approaching fast, What do you forsee of Pakistan then?

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  • Abdullah
    Jul 3, 2013 - 10:33PM

    I tottaly agree with prof Nikos.

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  • expaki
    Jul 3, 2013 - 10:37PM

    @Nikos Retsos:” It also happened in Greece back in 1974 when a CIA instigated military coup overthrew the anti-American prime minister Andreas Papandreou and then the caretaker prime minister Mr. Kanelopoulos”

    **

    Professor RITSO !! Would you please once again,
    re check your facts about Greece?
    Colonels over threw Kanelopoulos and
    not Andreas Papandreou. Later was
    elected as PM in 1981 under banner of
    Pasok

    **.

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  • Aljazeera
    Jul 3, 2013 - 10:49PM

    Mursi is being punished for being a true muslim ruler.

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  • GAP
    Jul 3, 2013 - 10:49PM

    @ Nikos: with this paranoia i am sure you had blamed US for your pet’s death.

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  • Reuters
    Jul 3, 2013 - 10:55PM

    This time a western funded revolution in egypt

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  • Unbelievable.
    Jul 3, 2013 - 11:01PM

    @Nikos Retsos. Rubbish – typical Pakistani anti American blather which conveniently ignores evidence to support conspiracy theory nonsense. Why would the American’s want to get rid of a guy who supports the removal of Assad including the implementation of no fly zone – probably the biggest issue in the Middle East. Morsi’s in trouble because he hasn’t fulfilled the promises he made when campaigning for office – pretty simple stuff.

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  • Naveen
    Jul 3, 2013 - 11:01PM

    Goodbye Morsi. One can blame Americans as Mr. Nikos is doing here. But as they say, devil can’t enter until we lay out a way for it to enter. Morsi should have paid greater heed to the concerns of protesting Opposition groups, liberal sections and various sectarian minorities (Muslim and Non-Muslims) of Egypt. Democracy and Tyranny of electoral majority are not one and the same thing.

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  • ModiFied
    Jul 3, 2013 - 11:03PM

    Curtain is coming down on Morsi. Army is already out. Soft Islam is waking up to put Jihadis in their right slot. Hope next in line is Pakistan. Region is tired of these Jihadis.

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  • Singh
    Jul 3, 2013 - 11:03PM

    @Nikos Retsos:
    It is appalling to read your comment. Do you think that extremist running the country is better option? Is it ok to turn society back to medieval era by imposing Sharia Law? It is USA which help most of country during peace or Natural disaster. All kindness to humanity delivered by US are always rebuked by people like you. Do you think life of female are better in Arab world? Most of time US act is to save that country from falling into black hole.
    Hello mod my comment might not be of your taste.

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  • ModiFied
    Jul 3, 2013 - 11:06PM

    @ Nikos Retsos: What is wrong even if Americans are doing this ? Should they watch helplessly Jihadis taking deeper roots ? World as whole will celebrate the fall of Morsi. Of course Syrians and Iranians will be the happiest.

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  • Naveen
    Jul 3, 2013 - 11:38PM

    @True Pakistani:

    “Iran, Syeria, USA are ally behind the scene.”

    Some allies.

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  • Ummi Khan
    Jul 3, 2013 - 11:57PM

    Egyptian Army gets 1.2 billion dollars from USA each year… Just tells the illuminates hands behind this expected illegitimate coup against democratic elected Government!

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  • Syed A. Mateen
    Jul 4, 2013 - 12:02AM

    Military coup is already underway in Egypt.

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  • Naveen
    Jul 4, 2013 - 12:27AM

    @Singh:

    I think you are getting overboard here. US has merely pursued its own national interest be it in Saudi Arab, Qatar, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, IMF, World Bank and so on. Its democracy and freedom ends at its territorial boundaries . For the rest of world, America is neither good nor evil, It is a just reality with which we all have to live with. What is unique about its existence right now is the fact that It happens to be the sole superpower (World history has been by and large multipolar) and its military prowess is bigger than the next 10 countries put together. Smarter countries have to learn to work with it, instead of being cavalier and getting themselves fried in the process.

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  • bangash
    Jul 4, 2013 - 12:29AM

    Coups and dictatorships have brought no benefits to either Egypt or Pakistan.Recommend

  • Leader
    Jul 4, 2013 - 12:30AM

    Congratulation to the Egyptians for the Western branded Revolution this time.

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  • ASQ
    Jul 4, 2013 - 12:33AM

    @ModiFied:
    he was democratically elected. should be enough for you if not then there is not much of a difference between your and militant outfits thinking!!

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  • true liberal
    Jul 4, 2013 - 12:33AM

    Democracy,in popular use, means will of the United states and it isn’t democracy if its no according to will of the US. .Shame on egyptian army and westren powers for they derailed democracy in egypt! And no, iam not some ‘fanatic’ brotherhood supporter!

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  • Javelin
    Jul 4, 2013 - 12:50AM

    @Nikos Retsos:
    I do not agree with your reasoning. The problem is that radical Islam and democracy do not work very well. Morsi wanted to introduce Sharia law on the populace even though he won by a slim majority. He is history. Don’t blame the United States however much you hate them because they had nothing to do with this.

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  • Jul 4, 2013 - 12:52AM

    For the past five years the PPP government sucked each and every paisa from the poor people of Pakistan. The people voted PML-N in power hoping that they will change the course and provide some relief. But the PML-N government has done exactly the opposite and have sucked even more paisa than the PPP government. With the price of each and every item skyrocketing after the budget the people now look for the Pakistani General to do the same what the Egyptian General did to Morsi.

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  • Sterry
    Jul 4, 2013 - 12:55AM

    Typical Muslim mentality of not allowing a democracy to develop- they just send in the army to fix things instead of showing character, waiting and working for a few years and letting a state and her institutions develop. No wonder why Muslim countries are the laughing stock of the world; They always have some army man taking over who winds up doing more harm than even the politicians. Look at how army dictators from Zia to Musharraf destroyed Pakistan. Hopefully Pakistan will not return to the corrupt dictatorial rules of Arab countries.

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  • MyHeartSpeaks
    Jul 4, 2013 - 12:56AM

    It proves one thing..i.e. Islamic Democracy is an oxymoron.

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  • Razi
    Jul 4, 2013 - 1:00AM

    It is funny that the same Indians who will not stop singing praises of democracy and at the same time support a fascist in their own country, have the chutzpah to decry Morsi.

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  • np
    Jul 4, 2013 - 1:11AM

    @Naveen: “Goodbye Morsi. One can blame Americans as Mr. Nikos is doing here. But as they say, devil can’t enter until we lay out a way for it to enter. Morsi should have paid greater heed to the concerns of protesting Opposition groups, liberal sections and various sectarian minorities (Muslim and Non-Muslims) of Egypt. Democracy and Tyranny of electoral majority are not one and the same thing.”

    Good point. Erdogan may also wantto pay heed. Turkey’s army which has recently been sidelined may have seen an opening in the manner that protestors in Ghezi Park were dealt with.

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  • jibran
    Jul 4, 2013 - 1:21AM

    Democracy does not mean that one declares himself Amir ul Momineen. it also doesn’t mean majority bulldozing the rights of the minorities, turning them into third rate citizens in their own homeland. Bottomline is that bringing religion or race into the affairs of state is a criminal act.

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  • Muhammad Salman
    Jul 4, 2013 - 1:22AM

    Waiting for stupid articles that compare Egypt to Pakistan. They are different you idiot!! Pakistan army will never overthrow Islamist govt. Whatever the saviour instincts of the Egyptian Army, suspending the Constitution is TREASON. No exceptions whatsoever.

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  • Fakhruddin Saleem
    Jul 4, 2013 - 1:27AM

    Yuppi. Finally some good news

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  • KAY
    Jul 4, 2013 - 1:31AM

    Islam and Democracy are two banks of a river, can never unite.Recommend

  • Hatf XX
    Jul 4, 2013 - 1:34AM

    @Ummi Khan: Ummiji – that makes perfect sense – connects the dots – checks all boxes

    Only, I am slightly worried about NS now – our army also gets some small multiple of billion dollars from USA each year, after all.

    Oh no – is that why he’s in China – no no that can’t be – our case is different. Right na?

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  • Arun
    Jul 4, 2013 - 1:41AM

    And that, ladies & gentlemen, is GAME – SET – MATCH!

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  • Shahid
    Jul 4, 2013 - 1:46AM

    Mursi brought this upon himself. The problem with Islamic Parties is that they are not familiar with democratic traditions and in thier self rightist attitude do not respect any dissenting opinions. They also want to bring all changes overnight.instead of working on the economic development of the country they choose imposition of thier Islamic interpretations as top priority causing chaos. It was bound to happen and Mursi is to blame himself for destroying the golden oppurtunity for a gradual peace full democratic, pluraliastic transition of Egyption society.

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  • darbullah
    Jul 4, 2013 - 2:08AM

    Good that Egypt got rid of Morsi. He was trying to take them to stone ages.it shows that the islamist’s ideology is not suited for 21st century

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  • PakArmySoldier
    Jul 4, 2013 - 2:13AM

    @Nikos Retsos:

    With all due respect professor, you’re clinging to the same old conspiracy theories. Allow me to introduce you to the 21st century.

    Egyptian unemployment rate under Muhammad Morsi is approx. 13% up from 9% under Hosni Mubarak.
    The reserves declined from $34 billion before the revolution to about $16 billion.
    Debt payments have grown from $5 billion to $8 billion a year, while inflation is up from 3% before the revolution to 13% to 18% now.
    Attacks on minorities, women, etc. went precipitously up.

    The poor economy played an instrumental role in the demonstrations because it would be more difficult to mobilize people if everybody was fed and satisfied.

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  • Rex Minor
    Jul 4, 2013 - 2:20AM

    @Nikos Retsos:
    You have the opinion but the blame goes squarely to the Egyptian people who have not the ability to maintain a rule of law without a revolution.. Nothing much has altered since the time of Pharaoh’s when slaves were deployed to build for the glory of Pharaho’s and the army ruled over them. What the land of Nile needs is Moses and he was with certainty not an Egyptian.

    Name me one progressive country from the developing world which has gained their independence without a revolution,. they all need leadership with a foresight not with a hindsight. The Big Brother is watching and knows with the PRISM system how your leaders think!!!

    Rex Minor

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  • Ijaaz
    Jul 4, 2013 - 10:33AM

    Oh what an irony we have in these Arab countries.

    The so called ‘liberals’ and the ‘educated’ urbanites are staunch supporters of Military rule because the military is militantly secular (its easier to practice religion in a Non Muslim country like India, Sweden or heck even the good ‘ol USA than it is in places like Kazakhstan, the erstwhile Egypt etc where this is the case) whereas the grassroots ‘democracy’ movements seem to be dominated by religious parties whose support base seems to be the lower middle class and the underclass.

    This is so much of a head spin that I don’t know what is what now…I wonder whether these ‘five dolla words’ (as an American hoodlum might say) have any meaning left in them or they can be used in any context by anyone anywhere…phew!!!

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  • Rex Minor
    Jul 4, 2013 - 2:35PM

    @Ijaaz:

    There are so called liberals and secularists in muslim countries but none are democrats like those in Europe. What the muslim countries need is liberal democrats who accept the majority rule. Muslim brotherhood is the only legitimate political entity in Egypt.

    Rex Minor

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