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Egypt's Morsi likely to call for referendum over his stay

English.news.cn   2013-07-03 02:12:34            

CAIRO, July 2 (Xinhua) -- Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is likely to call for referendum over his stay, state-run Ahram news website quoted a presidential source as saying on Tuesday.

President Morsi is due to make important decisions concerning current political conflicts between the two rival groups, the source added, reaffirming that the president may call for a referendum over his stay in office or call for an early presidential election.

ARMED FORCES ULTIMATUM

On Monday, the Egyptian military set a 48-hour deadline for all parties to resolve their conflict before imposing a military- supervised roadmap for the future of the turmoil-stricken country.

Hailed by anti-Morsi protesters as well as main opposition bloc National Salvation Front, the military statement was interpreted as a response to the protesters' demand of ousting Islamist President Morsi.

On Tuesday, the presidency said that the defense minister's statement may "add confusion to the already complicated scene," vowing to continue its own plan "for comprehensive national reconciliation" to resolve the political division.

Also on Tuesday, President Morsi met with Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and Prime Minister Hesham Qandil to discuss the recent developments, official news agency MENA reported.

INTERNATIONAL REACTIONS

As observers raise concerns of further violence or civil war in Egypt, U.S. President Barack Obama expressed worries over the tensed political situation there.

The White House said Tuesday that Obama is committed to the democratic process in Egypt. "The United States is committed to the democratic process in Egypt and does not support any single party or group," Obama told Morsi in a telephone conversation.

Obama also encouraged Morsi to be "responsive to the protesters ' demands," affirming that only political process is the solution to the crisis.

"The two presidents stressed keenness on constant communication, " Egypt's official news agency MENA quoted a presidential statement as saying, adding that they agreed on the necessity of peacefulness of protests and denounced any use of violence and aggression.

The Egyptian military's ultimatum has made headlines across the Arab world, as Lebanese newspapers saw the speech as "last warning for the presidency to respond to the people's demands," while Qatari based al-Watan newspaper warned Egypt from sliding into dark tunnel of vague future.

Rupert Colville, spokesman of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, noted that the role of Egyptian military was crucial. "Nothing should be done that would undermine democratic processes," he said, calling on the Egyptian government to listen to the demands of the people and to engage in a"serious national dialogue."

PROTESTS GOING ON

On Tuesday, pro-Morsi protesters flocked to different areas other than their base near Rabia al-Adawiya Mosque in Cairo's Nasr City, expressing solidarity with Morsi and rejecting the army's statement.

Tamarod, which claimed that it had collected more than 22 million signatures against Morsi, demanded the Islamist-oriented president resign by Tuesday, and called for civil disobedience if Morsi refuses to step down.

According to local media, the opposition campaign chose leading dissident Mohamed ElBaradei to represent them in negotiations on the country's future. A local TV reported that the same group will deliver a speech outside the presidential palace at 07:30 p.m. ( 1730 GMT).

"We give Mohamed Morsi until 5:00 p.m. (1500 GMT) on Tuesday, July 2, to leave power," a statement said.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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