Up Date: 15:15 EDT: Al Jazeera is reporting that Pres. Morsi has been removed from office by the military. An interim government with the head of constitutional court to be interim leader until new elections and constitution written.
The deadline issued by the Egyptian military for a resolution to the current uprising has passed and President Mohammed Morsi refused to step down offering a consensus coalition government to oversee next election as a way out of crisis. The General command of the is meeting with leaders of a number of religious, national, political and youth groups. The military has also issued a travel ban on Pres. Morsi and leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Pres. Morsi’s national security adviser Essam El-Haddad said in a statement that a military coup was underway and to expect considerable bloodshed.
Military chiefs, vowing to restore order in a country racked by protests over Mursi’s Islamist policies, earlier 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 Mursi refused to give up his elected office. [..]
There was no immediate sign of military action to remove the president. However, security sources told Reuters that the authorities had imposed an international travel ban on Mursi and at least 40 leading members of the Brotherhood in a list sent to airport police.
In a somewhat ironic statement, the Syrian government called for Morsi to recognize that the Egyptian people do no want him and he should step down:
Relishing the possible downfall of one of Assad’s most vocal critics, Syrian television carried live coverage of the huge street demonstrations in Egypt demanding Mursi’s departure.
“(Egypt’s) crisis can be overcome if Mohamed Mursi realizes that the overwhelming majority of the Egyptian people reject him and are calling on him to go,” Information Minister Omran Zoabi was quoted as saying by the state news agency SANA.
He also called on Egyptians to stand against the “terrorism and threats” of Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood supporters.
The Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood is one of the most powerful factions behind the mostly Sunni Muslim uprising against Assad, who belongs to the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam, and is being helped by Lebanon’s Shi’ite Hezbollah militia.
Democracy Now! correspondent, Sharif Abdel Kouddous reported from Cairo on the showdown:
“The more important struggle is the one that is coming from the ground up – and that is a rejection of authoritarianism and a paternalistic form of government,” Kouddous says. “We saw a rejection of Hosni Mubarak that threw him out of office, a rejection of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces ruling Egypt, and now a rejection and a revolution against the Muslim Brotherhood. [The people] are revolting against these authoritarian elements that deny them political and economic agency.”
Transcript can be read here
Also, Egyptian writer and activist Ahdaf Soueif spoke from Tahrir Square telling Amy Goodman that the refusal by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to run an inclusive government has sparked the massive uprising now seen in the streets.
Transcript can be read here