Egypt's military commander-in-chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Wednesday unveiled a "roadmap" for Egypt's political future proposed by the opposition, which included the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi to make way for snap presidential elections.
The roadmap will include the following points:
-The temporary suspension of the current constitution.
-Empowering the head of Egypt's High Constitutional Court (HCC) to run the country until a new president is elected via early presidential polls.
-Forming a new technocratic government and asking the HCC to hasten the passing of a parliamentary elections law, currently being reviewed by the HCC, to allow for parliamentary elections.
-Forming a committee to amend controversial articles of the temporarily suspended constitution.
- Laying down a media code of ethics to guarantee the media's professionalism.
- Forming a committee to foster "national reconciliation."
- Taking immediate steps to include youth in decision making circles.
In his televised statement, El-Sisi stressed that the armed forces had no intention to enter political life, but said it would "never turn a blind eye to the aspirations of the Egyptian people."
He further explained that the armed forces had continuously attempted to resolve disputes between the presidency and opposition, starting in November 2012 following the issuing of Morsi's controversial constitutional declaration.
"We began in November 2012, when we called for national dialogue that all political forces had agreed to except for the presidency," said El-Sisi
He added that the army had more than once introduced a strategic assessment on both the internal and external levels addressing important challenges and dangers facing the nation on the political, economic and social levels.
El-Sisi concluded by urging protesters to demonstrate peacefully and not resort to violence, thanking the army, police and judiciary for what he said were their "repeated sacrifices" on Egypt's behalf.
The minister of defence's speech was followed by a brief statement by the grand sheikh of Egypt's Al-Azhar Ahmed El-Tayeb, Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawdros II and leading opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei.
"I hope that this plan will be a starting point for a new beginning for the January 25 revolution," said ElBaradei, who was recently authorised by the opposition to speak on their behalf.
Planned anti-Morsi protests on 30 June called for early presidential elections and installing the top HCC judge to administer the country until a new president is elected.
Since the passing of the Egyptian Constitution last December, the opposition has demanded that the constitution be amended because Islamists dominated the constituent assembly that drafted the constitution.