General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took to state TV Wednesday to announce that President Mohammed Morsi has been removed from office.
A government of “technocrats” led by the head of the country’s Judicial Council will rule the country temporarily as the Constitution is suspended and new elections are planned, al-Sisi announced.
His words were greeted with an eruption of cheers from protesters gathered around Tahrir Square, along with fireworks. Morsi’s brief term in office was marked by upheaval and reports of violence against Coptic Christians. The military had given the president 48 hours to resolve the crisis and in his speech al-Sisi stated that Morsi had backed out of reconciliation at the last moment.
Morsi’s followers are enraged by the military’s actions, though a continuing role for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egyptian politics does seem likely.
“For the sake of Egypt and for historical accuracy, let’s call what is happening by its real name: military coup,” Essam al-Haddad, Morsi’s national security advisor, said in a statement on Facebook.