EGYPTIAN ARMY OVERTHROWS PRESIDENT MORSI
EGYPT: Egypt’s Army was Thursday holding the country’s first
democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi in detention, hours after
abruptly forcing him out of office following days of deadly protests
against his turbulent rule.
A senior military officer told AFP the army was “preventively”
holding Morsi, whose government unravelled after the army gave him a
48-hour ultimatum in the wake of massive demonstrations against him on
June 30, exactly a year into his rule. Morsi’s defence minister, armed
forces chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, announced Morsi’s overthrow
on state television on Wednesday, even as police began rounding up key
Morsi aides and leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. Warrants have been
issued for the arrest of a total of 300 Brotherhood officials, state
Saad al-Katatni, head of the ousted president’s Freedom and Justice
Party, and the Brotherhood’s deputy supreme guide Rashad Bayoumi were
arrested and transferred to prison, the official MENA news agency
Thousands of protesters camped out on the streets of Cairo for days
celebrated wildly through the night at the news of Morsi’s downfall,
cheering, whistling, letting off firecrackers and honking car horns.
Egypt’s largely state-run press on Thursday unanimously hailed the
army’s overthrow of Morsi as a “legitimate” revolution.
“The people’s legitimacy was victorious,” the flagship
government-owned Al-Gomhuriya splashed on its front page.
In bold red font, the front-page headline in government-owned
newspaper, Al-Ahram, read: “President ousted by revolutionary
legitimacy.” “And the people’s revolution was victorious,” read the main
banner in state-owned Al-Akhbar.
Morsi’s opponents had accused him of failing the 2011 revolution that
toppled dictator Hosni Mubarak by concentrating power in the hands of
his Muslim Brotherhood. His year in power was marked by a spiralling
economic crisis, shortages in fuel and often deadly opposition protests.
His supporters say he inherited many problems from a corrupt regime, and
that he should have been allowed to complete his term, which had been
due to run until 2016.
The military officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP
that Morsi “is being held preventively for final preparations”. He
suggested the Islamist might face formal charges over accusations made
by his opponents. Morsi had been summoned for questioning by a court
over his escape, along with other inmates, from prison during the revolt
that overthrew Mubarak in 2011.