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Egyptian Army Plots Coup D'État; Would Scrap Constitution

Egypt’s military has said it will take matters into its own hands if the protesters and President Mohamed Morsi’s government can’t come to a power-sharing agreement by Wednesday.

The Egyptian military released new images taken from the skies above Cairo during the anti-government protests that have drawn millions into the streets. Hundreds of thousands of protesters can be seen gathered at Tahrir Square and the Ittihadiya presidential palace.

Egypt’s military has said it will take matters into its own hands if the protesters and President Mohamed Morsi’s government can’t come to a power-sharing agreement by Wednesday. If the two sides can’t compromise, the armed forces will suspend the country’s constitution and dissolve its parliament. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces is reportedly still working out the details of the plan, which would essentially become the new roadmap for the nation’s future. Morsi has rejected the ultimatum, and the protest groups have so far refused to speak with him. It’s not clear how the army will react if Morsi refuses to leave office peacefully.

Reuters:

Chief-of-staff General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi called in a statement on Monday for M[o]rsi to agree within 48 hours on power-sharing with other political forces, saying the military would otherwise set out its own roadmap for the country's future.

The president rebuffed the ultimatum and the main liberal and leftist opposition alliance has refused to talk to him, demanding along with youth activists that he resign.

The sources said the military intended to install an interim council, composed mainly of civilians from different political groups and experienced technocrats, to run the country until an amended constitution was drafted within months.

That would be followed by a new presidential election, but parliamentary polls would be delayed until strict conditions for selecting candidates were in force, they said.

The armed forces planned to open talks with the main opposition National Salvation Front and other political, religious and youth organizations once a deadline set for M[o]rsi to reach a power-sharing agreement expires on Wednesday.

In a sign of Morsi's growing isolation, five Cabinet ministers said they have resigned, the state news agency said. The five are the ministers of communications, legal affairs, environment, tourism and water utilities, MENA reported. The foreign minister also submitted his resignation, government officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press.

The governor of the strategic province of Ismailia on the Suez Canal, Hassan el-Rifaai, also quit.

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