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Egypt's Morsi has refused referendum before ouster: defense minister


08:44, July 15, 2013

CAIRO, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi had refused to hold a referendum over the people's demands before June 30 mass protests, Defense Minister Abdel-Fattah al- Sisi said Sunday.

"I sent envoys to former president Mohamed Morsi, including his prime minister and a trustworthy legal expert, with one clear message, appealing on him to invite himself voters for a referendum, but his reply was complete rejection," official news agency MENA quoted Sisi as saying.

"Egypt is at crossroads and no one can force the Egyptians to accept a specific thought or path," the defense minister continued, adding that "all the armed forces' men and leaders chose to be in the service of the people and to support their free will in deciding the state's destiny."

Sisi stressed that the role of the armed forces is "to take orders from the people not to give them orders."

On July 3, Morsi was ousted by the military in response to nationwide protests that demanded his stepping down for his "poor performance" in his first year in office. A transitional roadmap was then announced by the army, supported by politicians, religious leaders and representatives of youth protesters.

"The armed forces approached the political process because the people demanded that from the army," said Sisi, noting that the people realized the military is the only side who can correct the "deviated courses."

Referring to Morsi's policies, Sisi said the armed forces gave him many advice and recommendations related to some decisions as a part of its national role but they were all declined.

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