Egypt: New leader to be sworn in

2013-07-04 08:57

Cairo - With Egypt's first democratically elected president overthrown by the military, the country on Thursday faced an unprecedented political limbo.

Milllions celebrated all night while Mohammed Morsi - ousted after only a year in office by the same kind of Arab Spring uprising that brought the Islamist leader to power - and his Muslim Brotherhood blasted the action as a "full coup" by the generals.

The military on Wednesday also suspended the Islamist-drafted constitution, called for new elections and announced it would install a temporary civilian government. The country's chief justice was to be sworn in as interim president later Thursday.

Millions of anti-Morsi protesters around the country erupted in celebrations after the televised announcement by the army chief on Wednesday evening. Fireworks burst over crowds in Cairo's Tahrir Square, where men and women danced, shouting, "God is great" and "Long live Egypt."

Fearing a violent reaction by Morsi's Islamist supporters, troops and armoured vehicles deployed in the streets of Cairo and elsewhere, surrounding Islamist rallies. Clashes erupted in several provincial cities when Islamists opened fire on police, with at least nine people killed, security officials said.

Uncertain future

Gehad el-Haddad, a spokesperson for the Muslim Brotherhood party, said Morsi was under house arrest at a Presidential Guard facility where he had been residing, and 12 presidential aides also were under house arrest.

The army took control of state media and blacked out TV stations operated by the Muslim Brotherhood. The head of the Brotherhood's political wing was arrested.

The ouster of Morsi throws Egypt on an uncertain course, with a danger of further confrontation. It came after four days of mass demonstrations even larger than those of the 2011 Arab Spring that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Egyptians were angered that Morsi was giving too much power to his Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists and had failed to tackle the country's mounting economic woes.

Beyond the fears over violence, some protesters are concerned whether an army-installed administration can lead to real democracy.


On Monday, army chief General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi had given Morsi an ultimatum to find a solution to meet the demands of anti-government demonstrators in 48 hours, but the 62-year-old former engineer defiantly insisted on his legitimacy from an election he won with 51.7% of the vote in June 2012.

Any deal was a near impossibility, however, making it inevitable the military would move.

As the deadline approached, el-Sissi met with pro-reform leader Mohammed ElBaradei, top Muslim cleric Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb and Coptic Pope Tawadros II, as well as opposition activists and some members of the ultraconservative Salafi movements. The consultations apparently were aimed at bringing as wide a consensus as possible behind the army's moves.

The Brotherhood boycotted the session, according to its political arm the Freedom and Justice Party.

In a last-minute statement before the deadline, Morsi again rejected the military's intervention, saying abiding by his electoral legitimacy was the only way to prevent violence. He criticized the military for "taking only one side."

"One mistake that cannot be accepted, and I say this as president of all Egyptians, is to take sides," he said in the statement issued by his office. "Justice dictates that the voice of the masses from all squares should be heard," he said, repeating his offer to hold dialogue with his opponents.

"For the sake of Egypt and for historical accuracy, let's call what is happening by its real name: Military coup," Morsi's top foreign policy adviser Essam al-Haddad wrote on his Facebook page.

Interim powers

After the deadline expired, el-Sissi went on state TV and said the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Mansour, would step in as interim president until new elections are held. Mansour was appointed to the court by Mubarak but elevated to the chief justice post by Morsi and will be sworn in by judges of his court.

Flanked by Muslim and Christian clerics as well as ElBaradei and two opposition activists, el-Sissi said a government of technocrats would be formed with "full powers" to run the country.

He promised "not to exclude anyone or any movement" from further steps. But he did not define the length of the transition period or when presidential elections would be held. He also did not mention any role for the military.

The constitution, drafted by Morsi's Islamist allies, was "temporarily suspended," and a panel of experts and representatives of all political movements will consider amendments, el-Sissi said. He did not say whether a referendum would be held to ratify the changes, as customary.

  • Francois Marx - 2013-07-04 09:08

    Why doesnt our military do that to our pathetic, ANC Brotherhood??

      Juan Jordaan - 2013-07-04 09:11

      Because they are all in hospital on anti hiv drips.

      Papapipo Mzapi - 2013-07-04 09:27

      why dont you and your friends try to pull the arab spring stunt here and see where it will lead you instead of hiding behind the computer

      Francois Marx - 2013-07-04 09:31

      You are just as pathetic as your pathetic racist government

      Livhuwani Lybon Tshihatu - 2013-07-04 09:33

      Because the people are not calling for a revolution.....i dont see you protesting in the streets there, do i.....keep fighting us politically ,maybe one day you'll get 20% of the votes. until then, just shut up and pay your damn tax

      DerpyHooves - 2013-07-04 09:37

      Remember when the Defence Force striked and "attacked" the union buildings? All those fatties in browns were quickly dispatched with pepper spray and Cardiac arrest.

      Isaiah Baloyi - 2013-07-04 09:40

      Dont forget that our military is run by former MK cadres. So dont expect something like that or else they will be deployed or recalled,something like that!

      Francois Marx - 2013-07-04 09:46

      Stop sniffing glue. They called for parity and when Morsi refused, the military intervened. Btw, are you blind to all the township uprisings across SA for years already? Its just a matter of time before the ANC is ousted. Tlokwe is one example. Pay your taxes so you can have toilets.

      jeremy thorpe - 2013-07-04 09:55

      Now now, Francois, Isaiah and the rest..... let's keep race out of this and accept that although there are political differences in SA, we don't have the kind of religious differences that are pulling Egypt apart. There will be no uprising in SA - and we will have a free and fair election next year, the result of which will be accepted by all as a fair reflection of the will of the electorate....

      Papapipo Mzapi - 2013-07-04 09:56

      marx that is not a revolution its called service delivery protest and its happening in most provinces including the DA led province

      Thukhe Ndlovu Farmer - 2013-07-04 10:00

      Marx u knw what is the problem with you? U cant oust any govt sitting behind a laptop. And the worst thing about you and your kind is when realy fed up people take to the street to protest for change of govt, u will be hiding behind that laptop calling them barbarians, uneducated and primitive, encouraging the police to shoot the bastads. You people are the greatest joke you knw!

      Francois Marx - 2013-07-04 10:08

      Jeremy, I wasnt talking to Isahia. This corrupt government is just as corrupt as Morsi. How many ANC leaders were killed, replaced or asked to step down? The people are at the end of their patience with the ANC. The military should give an ultimatum too. This country is falling to pieces under the ANC.

      Thukhe Ndlovu Farmer - 2013-07-04 10:14

      Marx, by the 'people' u mean the barbarians? Not the civilised by any chance?

      Claire Kunene - 2013-07-04 10:17

      They did that to our pathetic old government but failed so they won't try that again

      Thukhe Ndlovu Farmer - 2013-07-04 10:19

      Lindani shame! Ure nw starting to sound like a scratched cd, that needs to be tossed away, wil u just grow up n shove it, pls!

  • Richard Sekomote - 2013-07-04 09:09

    Big up to Egypt Military. I wish other military around the world can learn from them, that's a good decision they have taken to overthrow their President not protecting him. NO TO DECTATERS!

      Ahava Shapiro - 2013-07-04 09:53

      Why have a civilian government when the military is separate from the state and can change a democratically chosen president ? Why could democracy not be used to change the president or policies? Egyptians should decide if they want military rule or civilian rule if they want stability in their country.

  • Francis Rangarirai Zisengwe - 2013-07-04 09:26

    Egyptians are like chameleons they wil return back to Taqhrir square again in less than a week.

      Aijaman Pirlo - 2013-07-04 09:39

      Spot on!!!!They look like people whom don't know what they want.....Every-year there is a new president in Egypt..

  • Marhumbu Ya Vahlave - 2013-07-04 09:29


  • Katleho Mdlalose - 2013-07-04 09:33

    Juan, being a racist is going age you quickly

  • Glen Joseph - 2013-07-04 09:44

    The aftermath of arab springs too tense and libya blood flows like overflown river-iraqis bath with blood-morsi's moslem brotherhood wel see to it that bombs are like packs of cigaretes-always carry them.

  • Manfred Qhaddafi Meyer - 2013-07-04 09:50

    Governments exist to serve the will of the people. If this will is not being exercised, replace the government. Under Mubarak, the Egyptians have taken long to learn this, but learned it they have.

  • Siphiwo Khuzwayo - 2013-07-04 09:51

    All said and done now in Egypt after the democratic election a year ago, where Morsi won the election. By virtue of truth, he is/was a legitimate Leader sworn in by the people. However, Morsi should have listened to the voices of his own people to step down. While we try to figure out all these sentiments, we immediately remember the silence of the AU in this matter. The silence is not only defening, but amazing. Madagascar once faced the same scenario. The queation is now, is AU toothless in other parts of AFRICA?...We don't want to mention more states which went through the same, but can we forget Libya and the silence that went through under AU? Let us hope, Africa will find peace and move forward.

  • Tlou Andries Mokobane - 2013-07-04 09:58

    I tld hm ystrday that they wll shoot hs balls nd remv hm,guess wat he neva listen 2 me..

      jeremy thorpe - 2013-07-04 10:08

      Maybe when you learn to spell and develop some basic intelligence, people will start to listen to you.....

  • Eddie Maleti - 2013-07-04 11:45

    That's African states for you. Blame it on imperialism if is elsewhere. Blame it on apartheid if is in SA.

  • Peter Allebone - 2013-07-04 12:11

    The good news is that Morsi is out of power. The bad news is that no matter who gets elected now, the precedent of military intervention in politics has been set. From this point forth, if you want to know who runs Egypt, look not to the elected representatives, but to the ranking general.

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