Egypt’s Islamist “National Alliance” called early Tuesday for mass rallies in support of embattled President Mohammad Mursi, following a 48-hour army ultimatum for all parties to reach a resolution.
Al Arabiya correspondent reported that the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups began amassing their supporters in different provinces with a focus on Cairo and Giza.
Activists reported that a pro-Mursi rally headed late Monday toward Cairo University where Islamists plan to stage an open sit-in to counter opposition rallies.
During its press conference, the National Alliance of Islamist parties including Muslim Brotherhood rejected the use of army to “assault legitimacy” in a way that leads to a coup.
Defense Minister General AbdelFattah al-Sissi issued on Monday a 48-hour ultimatum to all Egyptian political forces to reach a resolution or face a military “road map for the future” that “will not exclude anyone.”
He underlined that the military will “not be a party in politics or rule.” But he said it has a responsibility to act because Egypt’s national security is facing a “grave danger,” according to the statement, read out on state television.
The Islamist Alliance said it respects all initiatives to resolve the crisis but it must be based on the constitution. It also condemned acts of violence that killed a dozen protesters and wounded hundreds others.
Supporters and opponents of Mursi exchanged gunfire in the city of Suez at the mouth of the Suez Canal on Monday, witnesses said.
At least 16 people have been killed in clashes between rival protesters since Sunday, when millions of Egyptians flooded the streets to demand Mursi resign.