Egypt’s military on Wednesday ousted Mohamed Morsi, the nation’s first freely elected president, suspending the Constitution, installing an interim government and insisting it was responding to the millions of Egyptians who had opposed the Islamist agenda of Mr. Morsi and his allies in the Muslim Brotherhood.
The head of Egypt’s army has given a TV address, announcing that President Mohammed Morsi is no longer in office.
Gen Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said the constitution had been suspended and the chief justice of the constitutional court would take on Mr Morsi’s powers.
Flanked by religious and opposition leaders, Gen Sisi said Mr Morsi had “failed to meet the demands of the Egyptian people”.
Anti-Morsi protesters in Cairo gave a huge cheer in response to the speech.
The army’s move to depose the president follows four days of mass street demonstrations against Mr Morsi, and an ultimatum issued by the military which expired on Wednesday afternoon.
TV stations belonging to Mr Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood went off air at the end of the speech and state news agency Mena said managers at the movement’s Misr25 channel had been arrested.
Minutes later, a notice went up on Mr Morsi’s Facebook page denouncing the army move as a “military coup”.
The statement asked Egyptian citizens – both civilians and military – to “abide by the constitution and the law and not to respond to this coup”.
The ousted leader’s current whereabouts are unclear. However, earlier reports said security forces had imposed a travel ban on both him and other leading figures in the Muslim Brotherhood.