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Egypt’s President Morsi detained after coup; Constitution suspended

4 July Cairo: Egypt’s powerful military on Wednesday night ousted country’s first democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi, suspended the Islamist-backed Constitution and unveiled a roadmap to meet people’s aspirations.

According to reports, Morsi is now being detained at a military facility. Also, arrest warrants have been issued for 300 members of the Muslim Brotherhood, The Telegraph reported.

“Morsi and the entire presidential team are under house arrest in the Presidential Republican Guards Club… Morsi has been separated from his aides and was taken to the Defence Ministry,” said Gehad El-Haddad, a senior Muslim Brotherhood official and son of a top Morsi aide, whose father, Essam El-Haddad, was also among those held.

Last night, Egyptian Army commander General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in a televised statement to the nation, said President Morsi is replaced by the chief justice of constitutional court, a year after he was elected and 48 hours after the deadline given to him by the Army expired.

The head of Egypt’s High Constitutional Court, the most senior Egyptian court, is Adly Mansour. He was promoted to the position in June.
The Egyptian Army also suspended the Constitution and announced early Presidential Elections.

TV stations belonging to Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood went off air at the end of the speech.

Egyptian President’s office’s Twitter account quoted Morsi as calling military measures, “a full coup”.

Liberal politician Mohamed ElBaradei spoke at the Army-held press conference. He said the roadmap drawn up by the military will guarantee the fulfilment of Egyptians’ main demand, early Presidential Elections.

The grand sheikh of Al-Azhar said that he supported the call for early Presidential Elections based on an Islamic precept that the better of two evils is a religious duty.

Accordingly, those gathered decided to hold early Presidential Elections, their fairness guaranteed by the judiciary, the armed forces and the police.

Millions of protesters nationwide who were demanding Morsi’s ouster cheered the move by the Army.

Al-Sisi said the military was fulfilling its “historic responsibility” to protect the country by ousting Morsi.

Morsi, 61, failed to meet demands to share power with opponents who thronged the streets of Cairo, and those crowds erupted as the announcement was made. Ahead of the statement, troops moved into key positions around the capital and surrounded a demonstration by Morsi’s supporters in a Cairo suburb.

Citing an unnamed presidential source, the state-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported that “the General Command of the Armed Forces told President Morsi around 7 pm (local time) that he is no longer a President for the republic.”

Airport officials said a travel ban has been issued against Morsi. They said that ban on Morsi has to do with his escape from prison with more than 30 other Muslim Brotherhood members during the 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak. Also banned from travel was Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie, his deputy Khairat el-Shater.

(With PTI inputs)

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