Army mulls new constitution in Egypt

Cairo, July 3: Egypt's state news agency has said that the military has drawn up a plan to suspend the Islamist-backed constitution, dissolve the Islamist-dominated legislature, and set up an interim administration if President Mohammed Morsi fails to reach a solution with his opponents.  

Embattled Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Tuesdy rejected the army's 48-hour ultimatum to resolve the country's deadly crisis, saying he would pursue his own plans for national reconciliation.

A retired army general with close ties to the military confirmed the report.

Hossam Sweilam said a panel of experts would draft a new constitution and the interim administration would be a presidential council led by the Supreme Constitutional Court's chief justice and including the defense minister, representatives of political parties, youth groups, Al-Azhar Mosque and the Coptic Church.

Meanwhile US has conveyed to Cairo that it needs to "listen to its people" and address their concerns, as democracy is not merely limited to conducting elections.

President Barack Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry delivered Washington's viewpoint on the crisis to their respective counterparts in Cairo over phone.

"He (Kerry) conveyed the same message that the (US) President conveyed to his counterpart, which is that it's important to listen to the Egyptian people. We are committed to the democratic process in Egypt and does not support any single party or group," State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, said at her daily news conference.

Egyptian Prez rejects army's 48-hour ultimatum

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," it added.

The army on Monday warned that it will intervene if people's demands were not met within 48 hours after millions took to the streets asking President Morsi to quit.

"If the demands of the people are not met in this period... (the armed forces) will announce a future roadmap and measures to oversee its implementation," said the army statement, which was read out on television.

However, the presidency said that the army declaration had not been cleared by it. It also denounced any declaration that would "deepen division" and "threaten the social peace".

Morsi was consulting "with all national forces to secure the path of democratic change and the protection of the popular will", the presidency said.

The army, however, in a new statement on Tuesday said its motive was to find a speedy solution to the situation.

The statement, which was posted by the army on its Facebook page, said: "the creed of the Egyptian Armed Forces does not allow it to perform a coup d'etat and was issued to force politicians to find a speedy solution for the deadlock."

"The Armed Forces is neither the ruler nor part of the political scene and will not abandon its designated role." Meanwhile, Salafi Nour Party assistant Secretary-General Shaaban Abdel Alim said that the first statement of the armed forces released yesterday is "ambiguous," warning against the repercussions of a return to military rule in Egypt.

"Which demands will the army meet, those of Tahrir Square or of Rabea al-Adaweya Square?" Alim said, referring to the main protest sites of the opposition and supporters of Morsi.

"The statement is stern," Alim said, referring to the army's earleir announcement. "We fear the return of military rule. The deadline is not sufficient." Meanwhile, the founder of the Tamarod campaign Mahmoud Badr said, "We stress our salutation for the great Egyptian army and for its statement that truly proved to be the haven of the Egyptian patriotism."

Badr called on the Egyptian people to continue their protests.

Posted by Unknown on 10:16. Filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

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