Egypt’s military has ousted the nation’s Islamist president, replacing him with the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, calling for early presidential election and suspending the Islamist-backed constitution.
Army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday, said a government of technocrats will be appointed to run the country during a transition period he did not specify.
An aide of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, Ayman Ali, said the former leader has been moved to an undisclosed location. He gave no details.
Morsi’s Facebook page quoted him on Wednesday as saying he rejected measures announced by the army as a “military coup.” It was unclear whether Mursi has access to his own Facebook page or if the statement was posted by an aide.
Cheers erupted among millions of protesters nationwide who were demanding Morsi’s ouster. Fireworks lit the Cairo night sky.
Supporters of Morsi who have gathered in a Cairo suburb reacted angrily to an announcement by the army that it had suspended the constitution and appointed a new, interim head of state.
Some broke up paving stones, forming piles of rocks. Muslim Brotherhood security guards in hard hats and holding sticks formed a cordon around the encampment, close to a mosque. Men and women wept and chanted.
Denouncing military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, some shouted: “Sisi is void! Islam is coming! We will not leave!”
Earlier Wednesday, Egypt’s army deployed tanks and troops close to the presidential palace in Cairo after a deadline for Morsi to yield to street protests passed without any agreement.
Live Cam Cairo, Egypt