General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, the head of Egypt’s army, has given a TV address, announcing that President Mohamed Morsi is no longer in office.
Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said the constitution had been suspended and the chief justice of the constitutional court would take on Mohamed Morsi’s powers.
Flanked by religious and opposition leaders, General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said Mohamed Morsi had “failed to meet the demands of the Egyptian people”.
Anti-Morsi protesters in Cairo gave a huge cheer in response to the speech.
The army’s move to depose the president follows four days of mass street demonstrations against Mohamed Morsi, and an ultimatum issued by the military which expired on Wednesday afternoon.
TV stations belonging to Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood went off air at the end of the speech.
Minutes later, a notice went up on Mohamed Morsi’s Facebook page denouncing the army move as a “military coup”.
The statement asked Egyptian citizens – both civilians and military – to “abide by the constitution and the law and not to respond to this coup”.
The ousted leader’s current whereabouts are unclear.
General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, the head of Egypt’s army, has given a TV address, announcing that President Mohamed Morsi is no longer in office
General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi said on state TV that the armed forces could not stay silent and blind to the call of the Egyptian masses.
He spoke of a new roadmap for the future, and said that the chief justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adli Mansour, would be given the task of “running the country’s affairs during the transitional period until the election of a new president”.
After General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi’s address, both Pope Tawadros II – the head of the Coptic Church – and leading opposition figure Mohammed ElBaradei made short televised speeches about the new roadmap for Egypt’s future which they had agreed with the army.
Mohammed ElBaradei said the roadmap aimed for national reconciliation and represented a fresh start to the January 2011 revolution.
“This roadmap has been drafted by honorable people who seek the interests, first and foremost, of the country,” added Pope Tawadros.
The army is currently involved in a show of force, fanning out across Cairo and taking control of the capital.
The tens of thousands of anti-Morsi protesters on the streets of Cairo are now celebrating, with fireworks lighting up the night sky and car drivers honking their horns in excitement.
But Mohamed Morsi supporters elsewhere in the city are reported to have shouted: “No to military rule.”
Egypt’s army has moved into key sites in Cairo hours after its ultimatum passed for President Mohamed Morsi to resolve a political crisis.
Tens of thousands of pro- and anti-Morsi protesters have gathered in areas of the capital, as Egyptians await a televised statement.
Opposition figure Mohammed ElBaradei and religious leaders will make this statement, the state news agency said.
Before the deadline passed, Mohamed Morsi repeated his refusal to step down.
His aides took to social media to describe the events as a military coup but there was no confirmation of this.
There are unconfirmed reports that Egyptian officials have placed an international travel ban on Mohamed Morsi and other senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The army is involved in a show of force, fanning out across Cairo and taking control of the capital.
He described seeing eight armored personnel carriers heading for Cairo University in Giza, where one of the main pro-Morsi demonstrations was being held. At least 16 people were killed and about 200 wounded at the university when gunmen opened fire on protesters on Tuesday night.
Another pro-Morsi protest was being held in Nasr City, where New York Times reporter Kareem Fahim tweeted that soldiers had fired into the air to disperse demonstrators.
Opponents of the president gathered in Tahrir Square in their tens of thousands. When the army’s 48-hour deadline passed, cheers echoed across the square.
Whether it is a military coup or not, on the streets of Cairo it certainly looks like one.
Egypt’s army has moved into key sites in Cairo hours after its ultimatum passed for President Mohamed Morsi to resolve a political crisis
Before the army’s ultimatum to President Mohamed Morsi expired at 16:30 local time, he posted a Facebook message calling for a roadmap involving an interim coalition government.
His whereabouts were not immediately clear but BBC Arabic confirmed that he was at the Cairo headquarters of the Republican Guard, a military site where he has stayed since the start of the protests.
One of Mohamed Morsi’s aides, Issam al-Haddad, wrote on his Facebook page that he was “fully aware” his words might be the “last lines I get to post on this page”, adding that what was happening was a “military coup”.
The army had earlier held meetings with political and religious leaders to discuss the crisis.
But the ruling Freedom and Justice party – the political arm of Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood – stayed away from the talks.
Mohamed Morsi’s opponents have accused him and the Muslim Brotherhood of pushing an Islamist agenda onto Egypt, and say that he should stand down.
In a defiant televised speech on Tuesday evening, Mohamed Morsi said he would give his life to defend constitutional legitimacy, and blamed the unrest on corruption and remnants of the ousted regime of Hosni Mubarak.
Army chief Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was reported to have met his top commanders on Wednesday – and a source close to the military told AFP news agency they had been discussing details of a post-Morsi roadmap.
Members of the Tamarod (Rebel) movement, which has mobilized millions of demonstrators onto the streets to demand Mohamed Morsi’s resignation, were also part of the meeting. So too were leading religious figures and Mohammed ElBaradei.
The president was put under further pressure by the resignation of six ministers from his government on Monday, including Foreign Minister Kamel Amr.
Mohamed Morsi became Egypt’s first Islamist president on 30 June 2012, after winning an election considered free and fair following the 2011 revolution that toppled Mubarak.
But dissent has been growing, with protesters angry at the lack of change in post-revolution Egypt and accusing the Brotherhood of trying to protect its own interests.
“This is a president threatening his own people. We don’t consider him the president of Egypt,” said Mohammed Abdelaziz, a leader of Tamarod.
However, Mohamed Morsi and the Brotherhood still have significant public support, and both sides have drawn huge numbers to rallies in recent days.
At least 39 people have now died since the protests began on Sunday.
The instability has also hit global oil prices, sending US light crude above $100 a barrel for the first time since September last year, amid concerns supply routes through the Suez Canal could be affected.
Tens of thousands of people are holding a protest in Cairo against President Mohamed Morsi, who last week granted himself sweeping new powers in Egypt.
Flag-waving demonstrators are chanting slogans accusing the president and the Muslim Brotherhood of betraying last year’s revolution.
On Monday Mohamed Morsi sought to defuse the crisis by saying the decree granting him new powers was limited in scope.
However, his opponents want him to withdraw the measure completely.
Ahead of Tuesday’s rally, opposition activists clashed with police. A protester, who was in his fifties, died of a heart attack after inhaling tear gas.
Activists later converged on Tahrir Square – the main focus of the revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak – for one of the largest demonstrations to date against Mohamed Morsi.
“The people want to bring down the regime,” marchers chanted, echoing slogans used in last year’s protests.
“We don’t want a dictatorship again. The Mubarak regime was a dictatorship. We had a revolution to have justice and freedom,” protester Ahmed Husseini was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.
Journalists, lawyers as well as opposition figures including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohammed ElBaradei were expected to join Tuesday’s rally.
Protests are also being held in Alexandria and other cities.
The president’s decree, known as the constitutional declaration, said no authority could revoke his decisions.
There is a bar on judges dissolving the assembly drawing up a new constitution. The president is also authorized to take any measures to preserve the revolution, national unity or safeguard national security.
Critics say the decree is an attack on the judiciary. It has sparked violent protests across the country.
On Monday Mohamed Morsi told senior judges that the scope of the measure would be restricted to “sovereign matters”, designed to protect institutions.
The Muslim Brotherhood, which supports President Mohamed Morsi, said it was postponing its own demonstration, originally due on Tuesday, to avoid “public tension”.
The postponement is another sign that the government wants to defuse confrontation, but it remains to be seen whether it ends the days of angry and sometimes violent protests.
Egypt’s union of judges, known as the Judges Club, rejected the president’s statement, calling it “worthless” and said they would continue to suspend work in courts.