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Rebel Campaign Affirms Egyptian Army's Support for People, Rules Out Military Coup

[Screenshot from Tamarod campaign's website. Image from tamarod.com] [Screenshot from Tamarod campaign's website. Image from tamarod.com]

Egypt's anti-Morsi Rebel campaign has urged Egyptians to flock to "every protest venue and street," as the army's deadline for a power-sharing consensus approaches. 

In a conference Wednesday afternoon, Rebel spokesman Mahmoud Badr branded the day as "decisive." Affirming the Egyptian people will not be frightened and underlining "the army's support for the people," Badr said it is "the Egyptian people who will give orders to the Armed Forces to move." He rejected speculation by the ruling Muslim Brotherhood that the Armed Forces' ultimatum presages a military coup, rather he said it would be "a popular coup."

The military has confirmed that it does not want to be engaged with the political or ruling circle, Badr added. He claimed the Egyptian Army has been brought under enormous pressure from the United States and the West, yet assured the masses that neither Morsi, the Brotherhood, nor the United States would dictate the future of Egypt. "The United States is backing an illegitimate regime as it did with [ousted president Hosni] Mubarak," Badr said. "And it is now backing a terrorist group."

The anti-regime Rebel campaign has been the main force behind nationwide protests that brought out millions of Egyptians demanding the removal of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi earlier this week, in numbers, many said, greater than those seen during the 2011 popular revolt that ousted longtime strongman Mubarak.

Egyptians are counting down until 4:30 p.m. (2:30 p.m. GMT) Wednesday when the army's forty-eight-hour deadline ends. The Armed Forces gave feuding politicians the ultimatum to forge a power-sharing consensus or it would step in with its own road map for the nation.

In a subsequent late-night statement, Morsi's presidential office said the president had not been advised before the Armed Forces set its deadline and affirmed he would pursue his plans towards national reconciliation.

Morsi himself appeared in another defiant statement late on Tuesday to reiterate that he would do anything possible to defend his "constitutional legitimacy," blaming the loyalists of the former regime of the current political unrest.

[This article originally appeared on Ahram Online]

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