Egypt’s military on Monday said mass protests calling for the resignation of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi were an “unprecedented” expression of the will of the people and gave the government 48 hours to meet the opposition’s demands.
In a statement read on state television just hours after the headquarters of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement were ransacked, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said if this did not happen the army would intervene.
The protesters’ main demands are that Morsi announce early elections and step down, allowing a temporary government to take over.
“If the demands of the people are not realized within the defined period, it will be incumbent upon (the armed forces)… to announce a road map for the future,” the statement said. It was followed by patriotic music.
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The road map would be created by the army, which would also oversee the plan’s implementation, the statement said.
It was unclear if the military was effectively demanding Morsi’s resignation and a Muslim Brotherhood politician insisted there would not be “a coup.”
On his Facebook page Monday, Morsi said he was meeting with the general al-Sisi as well as Prime Minister Hisham Kandil. What they discussed was not disclosed.
Sixteen people were killed and more than 700 were wounded during the protests Sunday and early Monday.