Egypt Military: Morsi Gone

Unconfirmed report:

The Egyptian army has reportedly relieved Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi of his authority, informing the Muslim Brotherhood-linked official at 7 p.m. local time that he was no longer president. At a press conference called shortly afterward, Abdul Fatah Khalil Al-Sisi outlined a roadmap that the army said would “put[] an end to the state of division” that has existed in the country, marked most recently by anti-government protests that began last Wednesday and peaked on Sunday as millions of Egyptians called for Morsi’s ouster and the removal of Muslim Brotherhood influence from public life. In the year since taking office, Morsi has seen his support plummet following a series of power grabs designed to centralize the Muslim Brotherhood and control and impose Islamic norms and laws on sectors of Egyptian life. The army roadmap involves provisionally suspending the Egyptian constitution, which has become a key source of friction between Egyptian Islamists and secularists since it was hastily and controversially drafted and passed last year. Pending new presidential elections, the army installed the chief justice of Egypt’s constitutional court to run the state’s affairs and announced the formation of a technocratic government. The moves came this evening after Morsi had pledged to die rather than accede to an ultimatum issued by the army to heed the protesters’ demands, with the opposition declaring his statements to be a declaration of “civil war.” The army will now move to try to prevent Muslim Brotherhood supporters from instigating violence. A top Muslim Brotherhood leader already on Tuesday called on the movement’s supporters to “sacrifice your soul to defend Mohamed Morsy’s legitimacy.”

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle