Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president has been was overthrown by the military. He has been ousted in a coup after one year in office by the same kind of Arab Spring uprising that had brought the Islamist leader to power.
The armed forces would install a temporary civilian government to replace Mohammed Morsi. The miltary has also suspended the Islamist constitution and called for new elections. Millions of anti-Morsi protesters across the country started celebrating after the announcement. Fireworks burst over Cairo's Tahrir Square, where the people danced in joy.
Amidst fears of a violent reaction by Morsi's supporters, troops and armored vehicles were deployed in Cairo and elsewhere. Clashes erupted in several provincial cities when Islamists opened fire on police. Morsi has been put under house arrest at a Presidential Guard facility where he had been residing. The army has taken control of the state media and has also blacked out TV stations operated by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Morsi's ouster throws Egypt on an uncertain course, with a danger of further confrontation. It comes after four days of mass demonstrations larger than those of the 2011 Arab Spring that had overthrown the then dictator Hosni Mubarak. Egyptians were angery over Morsi giving too much power to his Muslim Brotherhood and his failure to tackle the mounting economic woes.
Earlier, the army chief had given Morsi an ultimatum to find a solution to the demands of anti-government demonstrators in 48 hours, but he defiantly insisted on his legitimacy from an election he had won with a majority in June 2012. Any deal on this was near impossible, however, making it inevitable for the military to move.