The Egyptian military removed President Mohamed Morsi from power Wednesday and suspended the constitution in moves it said were aimed at resolving the country's debilitating political crisis.
In a televised address to the nation after a meeting with a group of civilian political and religious leaders, the head of the powerful armed forces, Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, said the chief of Egypt's constitutional court "will assume the presidency" on an interim basis until a new presidential election is held. Sissi said the interim president will have the right to declare laws during the transitional period.
The announcement came as huge crowds of pro- and anti-government protesters massed in the streets of Cairo and the army deployed armored vehicles. In the afternoon, a top adviser to embattled Morsi had declared that a military coup was underway and warned that "considerable bloodshed" could ensue.