Morsi's Defiant Speech: I Won't Cave to Military

Egyptian president says he rejects all 'dictates' as deadline looms

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jul 2, 2013 4:19 PM CDT

(Newser) – This doesn't bode well for a peaceful resolution in Egypt: President Mohamed Morsi says he will not step down as demanded by millions of protesters—and he vowed to protect his "constitutional legitimacy" with his life. Addressing the nation in a speech carried live on state television late today, Morsi accused loyalists of predecessor Hosni Mubarak of riding the current wave of protests to topple his regime. "The price of preserving legitimacy is my life," said Morsi, who sent out a tweet with similar themes before the speech. "Legitimacy is the only guarantee to preserve the country."

The army has issued an ultimatum giving him until tomorrow to either work out a deal with his opponents or step down, and Morsi made clear he has no intention of doing either. He said he rejects all such "dictates," whether they are domestic or foreign. State media, meanwhile, is reporting on what it calls the military's leaked "road map" on how to proceed assuming no deal is reached. In the plan, the army says it will replace Morsi and make sweeping changes in the ramshackle political structure that has evolved since the fall of Mubarak in February 2011. Morsi's defiance sets up a major confrontation between supporters and opponents—at least four people were killed in clashes today.

This image made from video broadcast on Egyptian State Television shows President Mohammed Morsi addressing the nation.   (AP Photo/Egyptian State Television)
Army troops in front of the presidential palace in Cairo.   (AP photo/ Ahmed Gomaa)
Plainclothes policemen walk with protesters opposed to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in the Kit Kat neighborhood of Giza.   (AP Photo/Roger Anis, El Shorouk Newspaper)
Opponents of Egypt President Mohamed Morsi protest outside the presidential palace in Cairo.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Opponents of Mohamed Morsi protest outside the presidential palace in Cairo.   (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Egyptian women chant slogans during a protest outside the presidential palace in Cairo.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Opponents of Mohammed Morsi protest in Tahrir Square.   (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
An opponent of Mohamed Morsi wears a Guy Fawkes mask in Cairo.   (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
An military helicopter flies over Tahrir Square.   (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
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