The head of Egypt’s Armed Forces issued on Monday a 48 hour ultimatum to all Egyptian political forces to reach a resolution or face a military “road map for the future” that “will not exclude anyone.”
General Abdel Fattah al-Sissi called mass protests on Sunday, which called for President Mohamed Morsi to resign, an “unprecedented” expression of the popular will.
“The army gives an ultimatum of 48 hours as a last ditch chance, as the homeland and the nation cannot tolerate any party failing to live up to its responsibilities,” the statement said.
“The national security of the state is in severe danger. We are compelled by our national responsibility… to issue a road map for the future and certain measures… for the participation of all [political] factions.”
The military also said it will supervise the execution of its roadmap “with the participation of all factions and national parties, including young people.” However, al-Sisi rejected the army’s direct involvement in politics or government.
The Tamarod [which means “rebellion” in Arabic and is the grassroots campaign that called for Sunday’s protests] opposition has given President Morsi until Tuesday to stand down, threatening “a complete civil disobedience campaign” if he refuses. Sunday’s protests saw at least six people killed.
“We give Mohammed Morsi until 5p.m. (3p.m. GMT) on Tuesday July 2 to leave power, allowing state institutions to prepare for early presidential elections,” Tamarod said in a statement on its website.
Morsi has made clear that he will not step down. “There is no room for any talk against this constitutional legitimacy,” he told Britain’s “The Guardian” newspaper in an interview published on Sunday in which he rejected the possibility of early elections.
The massive protests on Sunday came on the first anniversary of Morsi’s inauguration as president following the 2011 revolution that toppled the Western-backed regime of Hosni Mubarak.