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Coptic Orthodox Bishop says President Morsi must resign

Egypt's President is refusing to resign despite an ultimatum from the country's army.

Last night Mohamed Morsi made a defiant TV address responding to military demands to share power with his opponents or see the army impose its own solution.

He said:

"No one has the authority to intervene in the constitution either by what they say or by force, God forbid. 

"No one has the right to change the constitutional legitimacy or to come up with a new system."

And today he repeated his offer of a consensus government, but still refuses to step down. A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, to which Mr Morsi belongs, tweeted that a "full military coup" was under way. Jihad El-Hadad thinks the threat is undemocratic.

He said:

"I think the military coup is underway, I think we are seeing many signs of that at the moment.

"I don't think the Egyptian people will tolerate another resurface of the old regime under any regime and not by bullying of the military machine"

Mr Morsi's opponents say he and the Muslim Brotherhood are pushing an Islamist agenda onto Egypt, and that he should stand down. The General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK - Bishop Angaelos told Premier's News Hour the President needs to resign for the good of the country.

It's been reported that as the army deadline passed, cheers from protestors echoed in Cairo's Tahrir Square, where thousands had gathered. Revd Andrea Zaki from the Coptic Evangelical Organization For Social Services based in Cairo tells Premier why he believes the majority of people want the President to go:

The country's senior military commanders held a crisis meeting just hours before the deadline set by the army to resolve the political crisis expired. A source close to the military told AFP news agency they had been discussing details of a post-Morsi roadmap, which reportedly includes an outline for new presidential elections, the suspension of the new constitution and the dissolution of parliament. At least 23 people have been killed in the latest clashes between supporters of president Mohamed Morsi and those who want him to go.

Dr Harry Hagopian is an International Lawyer and Church Consultant.

Speaking on Premier's News Hour he explained the impact the situation in Egypt will have on the whole of the Middle East and North Africa region.

Mr Morsi became Egypt's first Islamist president on 30 June 2012, after winning an election considered free and fair following the 2011 revolution that toppled Mubarak. Meanwhile, Britons are being advised not to travel to large parts of Egypt by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office following widespread protests in the country. Red Sea resorts in Sharm el Sheikh, Taba, Nuweiba and Dahab have no travel restriction warnings.

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