In the days leading up to his ouster, former President Mohamed Morsi turned down an offer to hold a referendum, giving the people to chance to decide whether he should stay in power, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi claimed on Sunday.
In a meeting with other military leaders, the defense minister and Armed Forces head volunteered information about the much-discussed days before Morsi was forced out of power.
Sisi said that at the beginning of the crisis, before the military outlined the roadmap it announced on 3 July, it urged the presidency to resort to the people through a public referendum.
This invitation, he said, was turned down.
Sisi said the military had hoped for reconciliation between the different political powers to avoid any political polarization.
He offered the view that the military fulfilled its national, rather than political, duty by outlining a roadmap to put an end to the crisis that began when mass protests against Morsi started on 30 June.
Sisi said the Armed Forces stayed true to the goal of upholding the people’s legitimacy, adding that the people and the military are at a crossroads whereby choices and decisions have to be made under difficult decisions.
He said that he condemned confrontations, violence, or exclusion, and emphasized the idea of an open political arena which welcomes any ideology or current.
Morsi was ousted on 3 July through a military ultimatum and is now being held at an undisclosed location, raising the concerns of human rights organizations.
[This article originally appeared on Mada Masr.]