Monday, July 1, 2013

Morsi Given 48 Hours

According to NBC News:
Egypt’s military on Monday said mass protests calling for the resignation of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi were an “unprecedented” expression of the will of the people and gave the government 48 hours to meet the opposition's demands.
In a statement read on state television just hours after the headquarters of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement were ransacked, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said if this did not happen the army would intervene.
The protesters' main demands are that Morsi announce early elections and step down, allowing a temporary government to take over. 
"If the demands of the people are not realized within the defined period, it will be incumbent upon (the armed forces)... to announce a road map for the future,” the statement said. It was followed by patriotic music.
However, other reports are not so clear that the military is necessarily requiring Morsi to step down, or what the military will do. BBC News reports:

But a second statement posted on the military's Facebook page late on Monday emphasised the army "does not aspire to rule and will not overstep its prescribed role".

"Our earlier statement's purpose was to push all parties to find a quick solution to the current crisis... to push towards a national consensus that responds to the people's demands," said the statement.

Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad Haddad told the BBC the roadmap referred to by Gen Sisi did not necessarily increase pressure on the president to call early presidential elections.
Rather, he said, the pressure was on Egypt's constitutional court to swiftly issue a new parliamentary law and to call for parliamentary elections.
Meanwhile, the al-Watan website said the ministers of tourism, environment, communication and legal affairs had resigned in an act of "solidarity with the people's demand to overthrow the regime".
US President Barack Obama has called for restraint on all sides, saying the potential for violence remained.
Although it was not the job of the US to choose Egypt's leaders, it wanted to make sure all voices were heard, said Mr Obama during a visit to Tanzania.
 Obama apparently made those statements with a straight face, notwithstanding his Administration's pressuring Mubarak to resign.

Interestingly, protesters in Egypt dislike the American ambassador as much or more than Morsi. From the Washington Post:

Egyptians demonstrating Sunday against President Mohamed Morsi’s first year in office waved signs singling out U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson, telling her to “get out” and accusing her of clandestinely aiding Morsi’s Islamist government. One common sign, which also appeared as a massive banner hung in downtown Cairo, carried a distorted picture of her face and the word “Hayzaboon,” an insult that means “ugly old woman” or “crone.”

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