BREAKING: Military officers are present in state TV newsroom, monitoring content before ultimatum.
Cairo: The Muslim Brotherhood’s defiant reaction to an ultimatum given by the army sets the tone for a showdown between Egypt’s powerful group and the military, according to analysts.
On Monday, the army sternly told President Mohammad Mursi, who belongs to the Brotherhood, to end a deep political crisis with the opposition and gave him two days to “respond to the people’s demands”.
“The Brotherhood will not surrender easily in this battle for survival even after the Armed Forces’ intervention in the crisis,” said Helmi Farouq, a military expert.
Hours after the army’s warning, the Brotherhood ordered its supporters to take to the streets across the nation to object to what its officials called the army’s “coup against legitimacy”.
The secular opposition is demanding that Mursi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, steps down and calls early presidential elections. His backers have vowed he will complete his term, which ends in 2016.
“The Brotherhood’s defiant response is predictable. I think the army expected this and is prepared to handle it. The Brotherhood will resist until the last breath, making use of its Islamist allies in order to cling to power,” Farouq told Gulf News.
Some backers of Mursi have openly threatened to cause unrest if he is forced to resign.
“Such threats may be a mere bluff or they can become true as the noose is further tightened around Mursi. You can expect further trouble particularly in Sinai,” Farouq said, referring to Egypt’s restive desert peninsula believed to have drawn hundreds of jihadists in recent months.