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Egypt Army Commander Suspends Constitution

posted 3 Jul 2013, 16:59 by Mpelembe   [ updated 3 Jul 2013, 17:00 ]

Egypt's armed forces overthrew elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi on Wednesday and announced a political transition with the support of a wide range of political, religious and youth leaders.

CAIROEGYPT (JULY 3, 2013) (EGYPTIAN TV) -  The head of Egypt's armed forces issued a declaration on Wednesday (July 3) suspending the constitution and appointing the head of the constitutional court as interim head of state.

In a televised broadcast, flanked by military leaders, religious authorities and political figures, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi effectively declared the removal of elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.

He said he has been calling for national reconciliation for months but Mursi failed to respond effectively.

"We were hopeful about achieving a national dialogue that would end the violence and secure stability to the Egyptian people but the statement by the president last night which was broadcast before the 48-hours deadline was not responsive to the demands of the people and this has forced the armed forces to hold talks with some of the national and political figures as well as the youth. During the talks, the attendees agreed on a road map which included initial measures aimed at building a strong and united Egyptian society and ending the violence and the conflict in the country," he said.

Sisi called for presidential and parliamentary elections, a panel to review the constitution and a national reconciliation committee that would include youth movements. He said the roadmap had been agreed by a range of political groups.

"This roadmap includes, suspending the constitution, holding early presidential and parliamentary elections, the formation of a national reconciliation committee that would include youth movements. The head of the Supreme Constitutional Courthas the authority to announce constitutional statements during the transitional period, the roadmap also includes setting up a panel to review the constitution amendments," said al-Sisi.

The country's two main religious leaders, the head of the Al-Azhar Islamic institute and the Coptic Pope, both expressed their support for the army's roadmap in speeches after Sisi, as did the main liberal opposition leader, Nobel peace laureateMohamed ElBaradei.