President Mohammed Morsi has been deposed as President of Egypt by the army in a military coup. General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the leader of the military, announced two days ago that Morsi had a 48 hour deadline to acquiesce to the mass protests around Egypt calling for him to step down. Morsi refused to step down, and so the military stepped in, removing Egypt’s first democratically elected leader. Morsi called the takeover a "full coup categorically rejected by all the free men of our nation." Morsi, who met with El-Sisi on Tuesday and Monday, has moved to an undisclosed location and called for the citizens of Egypt to reject the military coup. An aide to Morsi, Gehad El-Haddad, said that satellite channels of pro-Morsi stations had been cut off. Multiple reports have indicated that people working at local television stations affiliated with the Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood have been arrested.
Abdel-Fatah El-Sisi declared that the military was fulfilling its “historic responsibility,” to protect Egypt in carrying out the coup. El-Sisi also announced that Morsi will be replaced by Adly Mansour, the head of Egypt’s Constitutional Court, and that parliamentary and presidential elections would take place. Egypt’s constitution is suspended. Mansour will have broad powers during the transition period before the election to establish a government. El-Sisi promised that the suspension of the constitution was temporary.
El-Sisi also said that Mansour would establish a code of ethics for the media, and it is not immediately clear what he meant. Given the coordinated arresting of pro-Morsi television workers, it does not seem that he wants to create a free and open media. Mansour will also establish some sort of mechanism to empower Egypt’s youth.
Years later this period will likely be incorporated into a broader narrative of Egypt’s uprising, beginning with the Arab Spring that brought Morsi to power. This military coup, however, was not inevitable, nor did it necessarily follow from what happened before. Thousands of Egyptians celebrated in the streets of Cairo when Morsi was deposed, but it remains to be seen if Morsi’s supporters and others who did not want a coup are represented in government going forward.