Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Defiant Morsi Rejects Calls to Step Down

At the Wall Street Journal, "Egypt's Leader Vows to Stay: Defiant Morsi Rejects Military Pressure, Calls to Step Down; 'I Have No Choice'":

CAIRO—Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi rejected protesters' calls for him to step down, telling Egyptians in a late-night address that he is willing to give his life "to protect the legitimacy" of the country's ballot box and Islamist-drafted constitution.

Without elaborating, he mentioned the possibility of parliamentary elections in six months, part of a list of proposals he said he would consider during talks with the opposition.

Moments later, antigovernment protesters in four provinces across Egypt chanted against the president, calling for him and his Muslim Brotherhood-backed party to leave, according to live footage. Antigovernment protests again swelled on Egypt's streets, reaching millions, according to local media estimates, just hours ahead of the military's Wednesday deadline for Mr. Morsi to patch relations with the country's opposition.

Morsi supporters and antigovernment protesters clashed near Cairo University in the suburb of Giza late Tuesday, leaving at least four people dead, according to the Ministry of Health. The groups traded fire of rubber bullets and pellets in Cairo's Kit Kat district, according to residents and local media.

The Obama administration has used U.S. diplomatic and military channels to deliver quiet messages and warnings to Mr. Morsi and Egyptian commanders to try to head off the crisis and avert any military coup, according to current and former officials.
Continue reading.

And from Mandy Nagy, at Legal Insurrection, "Morsi rejects military ultimatum (Update: “I am prepared to sacrifice my blood”)(Update No. 2: Egypt army says ready to die in “final hours”)."