Ultimatum: Egypt Military Gives Morsi 48 Hours to Placate Protesters

Ministers Resign en masse as Coup Feared

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has met with Gen. Abdel al-Sisi today, after Sisi issued an ultimatum giving him 48 hours to do whatever he needs to do to placate the mass opposition protests over the weekend.

Sisi declared publicly that the “demands of the people,” which in the case of the protesters is unconditional resignation of the civilian government, would have to be met, and if not the military would “announce a road map for the future,” presumably another coup and the return of the same sort of junta that ruled Egypt between Mubarak’s ouster and Morsi’s election.

Morsi insists that he has no intention of giving in to the military’s demands, and has a plan for reconciliation that doesn’t involve them. It isn’t clear what that’s going to mean for the deadline, however.

Some in the government seem to see the writing on the wall already, with at least five ministers announcing their resignation and “sympathy” for the protesters, who have burned and looted the ruling party’s headquarters in Cairo.

Opposition leaders were urging military intervention in the days leading up to the latest round of protests, causing allies of Morsi to accuse them of instigating a coup. That seems at the moment to be the path Egypt is approaching.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.