Morsi offers formation of consensus government in Egypt

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has proposed a consensus government to oversee next parliamentary election, as the Army’s ultimatum for him to meet the popular demands expires.
Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi
Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi

“The presidency envisions the formation of a consensus coalition government to oversee the next parliamentary election,” Morsi’s office said in a statement on his official Facebook page Wednesday afternoon.

Supporters and opponents of Morsi staged rival rallies across the capital, Cairo, on Wednesday evening as the Army’s 48-hour deadline for the president to yield to the demands of the demonstrators or face military intervention approached.

Meanwhile, more than 47 people have been killed and nearly 1,500 injured in clashes between supporters and opponents of Morsi since last week.

Morsi has insisted that he will not step down, vowing to protect his legitimacy. The embattled president says people chose him in a free election and that he feels obliged to stay in office.

In the meantime, an Egyptian government spokesman has suggested that it would be better for Morsi to die in defense of democratic values.

In another development, senior military commanders held emergency talks after President Morsi rejected their deadline to reach a compromise with his opponents, stressing that the army has vowed to defend Egypt against any “terrorists, radicals or fools.”

Senior Egyptian opposition figure, Mohamed ElBaradei, the top cleric of Al-Azhar Mosque, and the Coptic pope have met the country’s Army Chief Abdul Fatah Khalil Al-Sisi to discuss a political roadmap for Egypt.

ElBaradei said President Morsi has “lost his mind,” calling on the Army to protect the lives of the Egyptian people.

The ruling Muslim Brotherhood has noted that Egyptians will not remain calm in the face of a military rebellion with deputy leader of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, Essam el-Erian, adding that those who are betting that the people will simply accept a military revolt are mistaken.

A number of Egyptian officials, including Presidential spokesmen, Ehab Fahmy, and Omar Amer, cabinet spokesman Alaa al-Hadidi, Foreign Minister Kamel Amr and the ministers of tourism, environment, communication and legal affairs, have resigned amid the chaos.

Several political groups say the government is dominated by Muslim Brotherhood. The opposition also accuses Morsi of deviating from the 2011 revolution that toppled the Western-backed regime of Hosni Mubarak.

Morsi’s supporters, however, say the president is cleansing Egyptian institutions of corruption. They also believe he needs time to put into practice the principles of the 2011 revolution.

Egypt has witnessed continuing anti-government protests since Morsi took office in June 2012 in a landmark election held following the ouster of Mubarak.

Several Egyptian clerics and some religious circles have warned against a civil war and called on both sides to be calm.


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