World News : A top aide to Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi slammed what he called a “military coup” on Wednesday as an army ultimatum passed and the security forces slapped a travel ban on the Islamist leader.
“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 adviser, said in a statement on Facebook.
As tension mounted and crowds poured into the streets to demand Morsi’s resignation, Haddad said: “As I write these lines I am fully aware that these may be the last lines I get to post on this page.”
The announcement came after Morsi proposed a “consensus government” in a last-ditch bid to end Egypt’s worst crisis since the 2011 revolution that overthrew dictator Hosni Mubarak.
“The presidency envisions the formation of a consensus coalition government to oversee the next parliamentary election,” Morsi’s office said on Facebook.
Tens of thousands of people massed in Cairo’s Tahrir Square for an anti-Morsi protest that dwarfed a rally by the embattled president’s supporters in Nasr City, on the opposite side of the capital.
“Come here O Sisi, Morsi isn’t my president,” the flag-waving protesters chanted in the square, referring to army chief and defence minister, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
In scorching heat, police officers handed out bottles of water to the demonstrators crammed around their patrol vehicle in the middle of Tahrir, epicentre of the Arab Spring-inspired uprising in 2011.
The powerful military had issued a 48-hour deadline on Monday for Morsi to meet the “people’s demands”, a day after millions of protesters took to the streets across the troubled country calling for him to resign. Agencies