Egypt’s military suspended the constitution Wednesday and ordered new elections, ousting the country’s first freely elected president after he defied army demands to implement radical reforms or step down. Army chief of staff Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, speaking on national television in front of a row of prominent political and religious leaders, said the military was forced to act after President Mohammed Morsi had refused for weeks to set up a national reconciliation government. Al-Sisi said the chief judge of the constitutional court, backed by technical experts, would have full powers to run the country until the constitution is amended and new elections are held. Adli al-Mansour, the 67-year-old head of Egypt’s supreme constitutional court, is to be sworn in Thursday as interim president, state media reported. The army said the interim government would set the timetable for elections.
Addressing Egyptians on national TV, Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi announced Wednesday night that President Mohammed Morsi would be replaced by the chief justice of the constitutional court.(Photo: Egyptian State Television/AP)
Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected leader, responded quickly, posting a message on his presidential Facebook page saying he rejects the army statement as a “military coup.” His aides said he had been moved to an undisclosed location and banned from leaving the country.
Egyptian officials told the Associated Press that the head of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie, and his deputy, Khairat al-Shater, had been arrested.
In Tahrir Square, the political heart of Cairo, roars of joy erupted from tens of thousands of Egyptians. They danced in the streets, set off fireworks, waved flags and hoisted friends on their shoulders.
Full Article: Army ousts Morsi, orders new elections in Egypt.