Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi today rebuffed the powerful army’s 48-hour ultimatum to resolve the ongoing crisis,saying he would not permit “any step backward” from the spirit of the January 25 revolution and pursue his reconciliation plans. Embattled Morsi looked increasingly isolated,with his Foreign Minister cc resigning today to take the number to five. Yesterday,four other ministers resigned.
“The civil democratic Egyptian state is one of the most important achievements of the January 25 revolution,” said a statement from the presidency,referring to the 2011 pro-democracy protests that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak. “Egypt will absolutely not permit any step backward whatever the circumstances,” the statement added.
Two people were killed in clashes in Cairo today taking the death toll to 18,as the number of injured throughout the country was nearly 200.
The massive protests throughout the country continued as millions took to the streets supporting the army ultimatum. Supporters of president Morsi also staged a sit-in in front of Rab’a Mosque and were joined by women for the first time.
Headquarters of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party have been stormed in Egypt’s 14 governorates. A member of the Muslim Brotherhood was arrested by military police in Banha for instigating violence and holding arms.
Media reports said that the army intends to cancel the current constitution,form a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution,assign a presidential council and hold parliamentary and presidential elections once the constitution is passed in a referendum. The head of the Armed Forces Abd-al-Fattah al-Sisi has met President Morsi twice within the past 24 hours.
Morsi offered him to change the cabinet,impeach the prosecutor and amend the constitution. The offer was turned down by the army,media reports said. The Brotherhood also refused to make any concessions or hold a referendum on whether Mursi should stay in power. Meanwhile,Egyptian opposition selected former IAEA chief Mohammad al-Baraei to be their spokesperson and negotiate with the army.