News / Middle East

Morsi Faces Down Egyptian Military As Deadline Looms

Morsi Faces Down Egyptian Military As Deadline Loomsi
X
July 02, 2013 10:14 PM
Egypt's political crisis deepened Tuesday with President Mohamed Morsi resisting the military's ultimatum to reach a power-sharing deal with protesters. Demonstrations are building again in Cairo and other cities ahead of the military's Wednesday deadline - and there are fears of further violence, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Henry Ridgwell
Huge numbers of Egyptians demonstrated into the night, some backing elected President Mohamed Morsi and others pressing him to resign, even as the military prepares to step in.

President Morsi met Tuesday with the nation's top military official for a second time in two days while supporters massed in Cairo's Nasr City district in a show of solidarity.  Opposition demonstrators thronged the city's Tahrir Square.  

Egypt's military has given Morsi until Wednesday to resolve differences with the country's opposition groups, warning if he fails it will present its own roadmap for Egypt's future.  Parts of that plan leaked to Egypt's state-run news agency and other media indicate military officials are prepared to suspend the constitution, dissolve the legislature and set up an interim administration.

Morsi has said he will not give in to the military's ultimatum.  Members of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood have told media they are prepared to stand in front of tanks and martyr themselves to prevent what they see as a coup attempt against an elected leader.

Above Tahrir Square, the military helicopters buzzing Cairo elicit cheers from the crowds below.  The protests are swelling; the opposition emboldened by the military's ultimatum that President Morsi reaches a power-sharing deal.

Among them, protester Mohamed Shaaban. He said Dr. Morsi can suggest anything to the people in the square - but it's the people of the square who are doing the talking.

All eyes are on the army's next move, said Maha Azzam of policy institute Chatham House, who spoke to VOA on the phone from Egypt. "What we're seeing is the upper echelons of the military attempting to dictate the political process in Egypt. They don't want to be at the forefront of politics, but they are ultimately directing the political road map," Azzam explained. "And that is unacceptable in a democracy."

President Morsi has rejected the military's demand. In a statement Tuesday he said he would not let the clock be turned back on civilian rule.

Watch aerial footage of protesters in Tahrir Square:

Watch related video of anti-Morsi protesters in Tahrir Squarei
X
July 02, 2013 4:04 PM
Opposition groups calling for Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's resignation gather again in Cairo's Tahrir Square as Morsi meets with the nation's top military official.

The Muslim Brotherhood has called for the president's supporters to take to the streets to "express their refusal of any coup."

"The polarization that is happening in Egypt today is greater than we've ever seen before. And the consequences of unseating a freely elected president are going to be absolutely chaotic in terms of the interests of the Egyptian people as a whole and the future of democracy in the region at large," said Azzam.

The protesters feel this is a second revolution, said Emily Dyer of analyst group The Henry Jackson Society. "Many people feel that the demands that they had in the first revolution in January 2011, which was to put it simply 'bread, freedom and social justice,' have not been met," he noted.

  • A protester, opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, holds up Egypt's flag during a protest demanding that Morsi resign at Tahrir Square in Cairo, July 2, 2013.
  • Supporters hold posters of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi during a rally near Cairo University Square in Giza, July 2, 2013.
  • Opponents of Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi guard the entrances of the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2013.
  • Supporters of Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi hold sticks and wear protective gear outside of the Rabia el-Adawiya mosque near the presidential palace, in Cairo, Tuesday, July 2, 2013.
  • A vendor sells flags and anti-Morsi signs during protest demanding that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi resign at Tahrir Square in Cairo, July 2, 2013.
  • An military helicopter flies over an opponent of President Mohamed Morsi as he waves a national flag in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, July 2, 2013.

But Dyer said the opposition has failed to offer a cohesive alternative.

"No opposition parties within the National Salvation Front, which is the umbrella opposition movement, have yet put forward a clear alternative policy plan, whether that would be dealing with the economic problems that Egypt is currently facing, the problem that a third of their budget is spent on subsidies," said Dyer.

Britain and Germany echoed U.S. President Obama's concerns over the crisis Tuesday and urged a peaceful resolution. Rupert Colville is spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"It's really important that the government and opposition get together and discuss how they can move forward. Egypt's democracy is obviously very fragile and nobody wants to see it collapse or fall apart in some way," said Colville.

Analysts said Egypt is now entering the unknown - and the military will likely decide the fate of President Morsi in the coming days.

You May Like

Elusive Deal With Iran Could Yield Foreign Policy Legacy for Obama

A new Iranian leader -- and a strategic shift by the United States -- opens narrow window for nuclear agreement with Tehran More

Column: Saudi-Iran Meeting Could Boost Fight Against Islamic State

The fact that Iranians and Saudis are talking again does not guarantee a breakthrough, but it could make it easier to build a broad coalition against IS More

Thai Ruler Gives Top Cabinet Posts to Junta Inner Circle

Thailand's army chief has kept an iron grip on power as he extends the government, hand-picking an interim parliament that subsequently nominated him prime minister More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
July 03, 2013 1:16 AM
I think neither any religous group nor millitary power should take administrations. Egyptian legislation must have denied any political activities for religeous groups since the last revolution. Millitary power must have been set under the control of president.

The main reason why Morsi is being eroded by Muslim and millitary power seems owing to the estrangement from general people who are struggling bad economy. What has made Egyptian economy so worse?

In Response

by: ashi from: sapporo
July 03, 2013 9:26 AM
If people do not support the president, what allows him to be the position?


by: ali baba from: new york
July 02, 2013 2:59 PM
Egypt want Hosni Mubarak back to power..Muslim brotherhood is a Egyptian night mare .religious fanatic is the source of evil. Egypt want secular Gov. religious fanatic has their place in mental institution


by: Godwin from: Nigeria
July 02, 2013 12:35 PM
Democracy at a tipping point. The people have made their demand clear: Morsi is not the man to lead Egypt’s democracy. He is biased and has vested interest in islamization of the country. This runs counter to his election promises. What Egypt wants now is a man democratic both in mind and action, not one who says a thing and means another like Morsi and his muslim brotherhood. Morsi goes to meet the army. He sees that the army has the overwhelming support of the people and he wants to tap into it.

The army may need not to be told that Morsi will sack them immediately he survives this latest pressure from the people. If that happens, Morsi will have succeeded in intimidating the whole country to subjugation under muslim brotherhood of Hamas. And there is nothing that will change Morsi’s doggedly planted feet into islamification of Egypt having taking his cue from both Iran and Saudi Arabia. This is the only opportunity for the people to achieve what they want – Morsi’s autocracy or another election. Maybe the people demonstrating in Tahrir Square can change their mind and lend their support to Morsi once again to continue to marginalize the Coptics, the liberals and minority peoples of Egypt.

In Response

by: JD92618 from: Newport Beach, USA
July 02, 2013 4:09 PM
You're right. Democracy is at a tipping point. But with all due respect, it seems like you're in favor of throwing democracy out the window. I don't like Morsi, but wasn't he democratically elected? Part of a functional democracy is putting up with with elected officials who you are quite convinced will destroy your country. We got through Bush...two times. And for the other half of my country, they'll get through Obama....two times.

You'll survive Morsi. I'd think twice before implying that you're a fan of democracy, but not THIS democracy. Also, it's hard to vote the military out of office.

Best of luck. The entire world would love to see a peaceful, prosperous Egypt.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid