Egyptian president Morsi raises stakes ahead of army's ultimatum deadline

By bne IntelliNews July 3, 2013

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s last ditch effort to stay in power threatening to defend the legitimacy of his presidency with his life if necessary seems to have backfired with the military high command declaring its preparedness to sacrifice with their blood to defend the country against terrorists, extremism and fools. The standoff between the presidency and the military is happening against the backdrop of escalating street violence between pro- and anti- Morsi demonstrators throughout the country leaving hundreds wounded and over a dozen dead.

With hundreds of thousands of demonstrators from rival camps occupying squares in Cairo, the stage seems to be set for a massive confrontation between both sides as the clock ticks towards the army’s ultimatum set for 4 pm local time for all political parties to reach a political settlement lest the army imposes its own roadmap for the political future.

Meanwhile, the army leaked a framework for such a roadmap, Al Watan newspaper reported. The report suggested that an interim prime minister is to be appointed in agreement with all political parties with broad presidential powers. The prime minister forms a limited cabinet for the transitional period with the army in charge of security issues. During the transitional period of 6-8 months, presidential elections take place and the constitution of 1971 becomes activated till a constitutional committee represented by all political forces drafts a new constitution. The army’s plan coincided with similar suggestions by members of various political factions including the June 30 Coalition, an umbrella group of youth-lead Rebel or Tamarod movement that called for the June 30 protests to ask for the president’s resignation and the National salvation Front, the main opposition political umbrella group.

A day earlier, investors seemed to have welcomed the military’s intervention in politics with the EGX-30 of leading stocks rising by 5% during the day.

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