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Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, has announced that he will defend his office with his life after many opposition now claim he has sold out on the goals he set out in 2011 during the national uprising against Hosni Mubarak.
On Monday Egypt’s military leaders gave Morsi 48 hours to step down and bring an end to the riots and conflicts that are raging across the entire country, or they would be forced to impose their own solution. Ahmed El-Ansari, the deputy head of the national ambulance service, said that over the last 24 hours clashes between Morsi supporters and opposition have left 619 wounded and 18 dead.
Morsi rejected the demands for his resignation and now the military leaders are meeting to discuss their next course of action.
He gave a televised speech last night in which he stated: “If the price of safeguarding legitimacy is my own blood, I am ready to sacrifice it. There is no alternative to constitutional legitimacy.”
Whilst unwilling to list its sources, the state-run newspaper Al-Ahram has said that if Morsi does not voluntarily resign, he will be forced from office and a new constitution will be installed, along with a new government, all under the leadership of a military commander.
The military released the statement: “We swear to God that we will sacrifice for Egypt, and its people, our blood against all terrorists, extremists or fools.”
Khaled Dawoud, spokesman for the National Salvation Front, told Bloomberg that Morsi “is clearly pushing the country to the brink of civil war. Mursi is again acting as a president for the Muslim Brotherhood only, and not for all Egyptians.”
Protestors in Tahrir Square. (Global Post)
Al-Ahram reported that the military had invited “Nobel peace laureate and opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, Coptic Pope Tawadros II, members of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and other political leaders to discuss a blueprint for the future.”
Concerns about the effect that the turmoil in Egypt may have on the Middle East, and oil transport around the area, has led WTI crude oil prices to soar over $100 a barrel for the first time since September 2012.
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Update: On Wednesday night the army announced that Morsi has been ousted, and Adly Mansour, the head of Egypt's High Constitutional Court, the most senior Egyptian court, has been appointed as the temporary president until elections can be arranged.
Adly Mansour, the head of Egypt's High Constitutional Court. (Al-Ahram)
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com