Egypt army roadmap 'to dissolve parliament'
Cairo, July 2, 2013
Egypt's armed forces would suspend the constitution and dissolve an Islamist-dominated parliament under a draft political roadmap to be pursued if Islamist President Mohamed Mursi and the liberal opposition fail to agree by Wednesday, military sources said.
The sources told Reuters the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) was still discussing details and the plan, intended to resolve a political crisis that has brought millions of protesters into the streets, could be changed based on political developments and consultations.
Chief-of-staff General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi called in a statement on Monday for Mursi to agree within 48 hours on power-sharing with other political forces, saying the military would otherwise set out its own roadmap for the country's future.
Earlier, President Mursi met general Sisi for the second day, along with the prime minister, the president's office said. It gave no details of the talks.
Prime Minister Hisham Kandil was also present at the meetings with Mursi and Sisi on Monday.
In another development, Egyptian troops chanted, marched and trained for unarmed combat in the streets of the Red Sea city of Suez at the mouth of the Suez Canal on Tuesday, images from Al Jazeera's Egypt news channel satellite showed.
Security sources in Suez said that forces from the locally based Third Field Army strengthened their presence in the city overnight after the clashes. Armed vehicles were also sent on patrol, the sources told Reuters.
Egyptian officials have said security on the Suez Canal, the vital world waterway, had not been affected by unrest. Cities on the canal have seen major anti-government protests during and since the revolution of 2011.
The political confrontation has pushed the most populous Arab nation closer to the brink amid a deepening economic crisis two years after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, raising concern in Washington, Europe and neighbouring Israel.
Meanwhile, the ruling Muslim Brotherhood sought to mass its supporters to defend Mursi.
But the Islamist leader looked increasingly isolated, with ministers resigning, the liberal opposition refusing to talk to him.
Newspapers across the political spectrum saw the military ultimatum as a turning point. "Last 48 hours of Muslim Brotherhood rule," the opposition daily El Watan declared. "Egypt awaits the army," said the state-owned El Akhbar. - Reuters