CAIRO — President Mohammed Morsi refused to step down Wednesday and called on the military not to “take sides” even as the army chief of staff met with opposition figures and religious leaders to discuss its “road map” for dramatic political reform.
Morsi called instead for the formation of an interim coalition government, led by a prime minister approved by the major political parties.
In the last minute statement before an afternoon deadline imposed by the military, Morsi again rejected army intervention, saying abiding by his electoral legitimacy was the only way to prevent violence. He criticized the military for “taking only one side.”
“One mistake that cannot be accepted, and I say this as president of all Egyptians, is to take sides,” he said in the statement issued by his office. “Justice dictates that the voice of the masses from all squares should be heard.”
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