Former Egyptian prime minister Hisham Qandil issued a video statement on Thursday condemning army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's recent speech and defending ousted president Mohamed Morsi.
"This is my first statement since my resignation as prime minister following the military coup. But I have to make some points and defend president Morsi in his absence until he returns,” Qandil said in comments posted on YouTube.
"The last time I saw General El-Sisi and President Morsi was on 2 July 2013 at the Republican Guards HQ. President Morsi told him to look after the Egyptian army because it is important to Egypt, the Arab world and Islam," Qandil added.
During a speech on Wednesday, El-Sisi said that before 3 July he had sent direct and indirect messages to Morsi via Qandil with suggestions on how to end the political crisis, including calling a presidential referendum, but Morsi had rejected them.
"President Morsi did not reject it,” Qandil said. “He believed a referendum on his presidency should be held after parliamentary elections so there would not be a constitutional gap."
Parliamentary elections were planned for September, he added.
Qandil also denied El-Sisi's claim that Morsi had prior knowledge of statements issued by the army calling for political progress during the last period of his presidency.
"President Morsi did not know in advance about these statements and he was annoyed because he believed they were biased towards the opposition."