Egyptians did it again! Exactly one year after Mohammed Morsi was sworn into office as president before the Supreme Constitutional Court, on June 30, 2013, millions of Egyptians demonstrated, demanding early presidential elections or Morsi’s departure. As Morsi failed to respond to the people’s demands by the end of a 48-hour ultimatum from the military, the armed forces informed Morsi at 7 p.m. on July 3 that he was no longer president. Shortly afterward, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the head of the military, read an eight-minute statement signaling a new transition.
The statement carried several important messages. It explained the many attempts that the military had initiated to alert Morsi to the national security threats facing Egypt as a result of his divisive policies from as early as November 2012, when Morsi issued decrees that put him above the law and placed his decrees outside judiciary scrutiny. A clear warning that the Egyptian state was on the brink of collapse was given by the army chief in January. Sisi also reminded the people that the armed forces had extended several invitations for dialog to end the political deadlock, which were all rejected by the presidency. But the most important message was that the army will not rule as it did in the first transition period after Jan. 25 revolution. Sisi consulted with various political leaders, who included Mohamed ElBaradei, Tamarod young leaders, Al Nour Salafi party, the head of Al-Azhar institution, and the Coptic pope to develop the outline of a “future roadmap” which included appointing Chief Justice Adly Mansour, head of the Supreme Constitutional Court, as interim president per Egyptian constitutional traditions. Mansour was sworn in as president coincidentally on the Fourth of July and will temporarily have the power to issue constitutional declarations while a committee representing various political forces will draft amendments to controversial articles in Egypt’s Constitution.