Unconfirmed thus far, but the army’s deadline for him to leave office had recently passed. Let’s get a thread up, as things are moving quickly.
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is reportedly under house arrest after the military ultimatum expired Wednesday, reports Al Hayat TV.
Morsi’s spokesman denied the report, although word of the house arrest provoked cheers in Tahrir Square…
Earlier Wednesday, Egyptian leaders met with the army chief. This meeting also signaled the military was taking concrete moves toward implementing its plan to replace President Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected leader who came to office a year ago.
One of Morsi’s aides on foreign affairs has posted a statement on Facebook. Money bit:
For the sake of Egypt and for historical accuracy, let’s call what is happening by its real name: Military coup…
There are still people in Egypt who believe in their right to make a democratic choice. Hundreds of thousands of them have gathered in support of democracy and the Presidency. And they will not leave in the face of this attack. To move them, there will have to be violence. It will either come from the army, the police, or the hired mercenaries. Either way there will be considerable bloodshed. And the message will resonate throughout the Muslim World loud and clear: democracy is not for Muslims…
Since January and again in the last couple of weeks the President has repeatedly called for national dialog. Equally repeatedly, the opposition refused to participate. Increasingly, the so-called liberals of Egypt escalated a rhetoric inviting the military to become the custodians of government in Egypt. The opposition has steadfastly declined every option that entails a return to the ballot box.
Illiberal Islamist democracy versus somewhat more liberal military dictatorship. Those are some stakes. And both sides, naturally, are vowing to shed blood if need be. Stand by for updates as the wheels start come off.
Update: Morsi apparently offered the army a deal at the last minute in which he’d organize a coalition government in return for being allowed to stay in office. No dice, apparently. After the Brotherhood’s power grab, why would any opposition leader think he’d have meaningful responsibilities in a coalition government? And who in the opposition would want to re-legitimize the Brotherhood at this point, on the eve of seeing them ousted, by joining their government?
Update: Enjoy Eli Lake’s and Josh Rogin’s chronicle of Obama’s kid-gloves treatment of Morsi and the Brotherhood at every turn over the past two years. Hope Morsi enjoyed the fortune in aid that the U.S. showered on him at the White House’s insistence. Bill Hobbs sums things up nicely:
Irony: Egypt military funded by US taxpayers is starting coup against Islamist govt backed by Obama. Doing the job an American prez won't do
— Bill Hobbs (@billhobbs) July 3, 2013
Update: Here we go.
Military vehicles heading in direction of pro Morsi rally pic.twitter.com/74n7NBWlpc
— Kareem Fahim (@kfahim) July 3, 2013
Islamists fighting with officers. Commander orders soldiers down from vehicles pic.twitter.com/QM3yZteXVd
— Kareem Fahim (@kfahim) July 3, 2013
Update: Meanwhile, in Tahrir Square, more than 90 women have reportedly been sexually assaulted in the past four days. If you thought that had stopped after Lara Logan’s rape drew international coverage, think again.
Update: Sad but, alas, true:
12:03 p.m. Egypt in chaos as reports of coup swirl. Fox News: Zimmerman. CNN: Zimmerman. MSNBC: Zimmerman.
— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) July 3, 2013
Update: Early skirmishes:
Two sides now stoning each other, armour has left leaving light force of soldiers. #Cairo
— Jeremy Bowen (@BowenBBC) July 3, 2013
Update: Morsi, you may remember, wasn’t the Brotherhood’s first choice as its candidate for president. That was Khairat al-Shater, who, along with other senior MB leaders, are the power behind Morsi’s throne. If you want to neutralize him, you need to neutralize them too. And so:
A top aide to Morsi, Essam al-Haddad, slammed what he called a “military coup” on Wednesday after the army reportedly slapped a travel ban on the president and his Islamist allies.
The list of names that was sent to airport security included Muslim Brotherhood leaders Khairat el-Shater, Essam el-Erian and at least 40 other Islamists, security sources told Reuters news agency.
No sense putting Morsi under house arrest if the rest of the gang is free to self-exile and agitate in safety beyond the army’s reach.