London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Egypt’s armed forces ousted the country’s first post-25 January revolution president, Islamist Mohamed Mursi, following four days of nationwide protests against his rule.
Flanked by military officials, political leaders, and Muslim and Christian clerics, General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi announced the suspension of Egypt’s controversial constitution and a political roadmap for the future.
“Those in the meeting have agreed on a roadmap for the future that includes initial steps to achieve the building of a strong Egyptian society that is cohesive and does not exclude anyone and ends the state of tension and division,” Sisi said.
In a live broadcast addressing the nation, Sisi announced that the head of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court, Judge Adli Mansour, would be in charge of the transitional period until early presidential elections can be held.
The conference saw senior national figures offer their backing for the roadmap, including Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayyeb, Coptic Pope Tawadros II, senior opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei, and Tamarod (Rebellion) movement founder Mahmoud Badr.
Following the speech, hundreds of thousands of anti-Mursi protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir Square erupted into cheering. Demonstrators set-off fireworks while a military helicopter flying overhead dropped Egyptian flags.
The Egyptian military took control of a number of civil institutes following the announcement, including reportedly shutting down pro-Muslim Brotherhood media, including the Egypt25 satellite television channel.
Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi has described the roadmap as a military coup, calling on his supporters to stand firm.
In a recorded statement broadcast to Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Cairo’s Raba’a Al-Adawiya Square, Mursi stressed that he is Egypt’s legitimate president and commander-in-chief.
“The people’s will cannot be overlooked in just one year. This is selective democracy,” he said.