Egypt's armed forces would suspend the constitution and dissolve an Islamist-dominated parliament under a draft political roadmap to be pursued if Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and his opponents fail to reach a power-sharing agreement by Wednesday, military sources said.
The sources told Reuters the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) was still discussing details of the plan, intended to resolve a political crisis that has brought millions of protesters into the streets. The roadmap could be changed based on political developments and consultations.
Chief-of-staff General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi called in a statement on Monday for Morsi to agree within 48 hours on power-sharing with other political forces, saying the military would otherwise set out its own roadmap for the country's future.
The president rebuffed the ultimatum and the main liberal and leftist opposition alliance has refused to talk to him, demanding along with youth activists that he resign.
The sources said the military intended to install an interim council, composed mainly of civilians from different political groups and experienced technocrats, to run the country until an amended constitution was drafted within months.
That would be followed by a new presidential election, but parliamentary polls would be delayed until strict conditions for selecting candidates were in force, they said.
The armed forces planned to open talks with the main opposition National Salvation Front and other political, religious and youth organisations once a deadline set for Morsi to reach a power-sharing agreement expires on Wednesday.
The sources would not say how the military intended to deal with Morsi if he refused to go quietly.
The emerging roadmap could be amended as a result of those consultations, they said. Among figures being considered as an interim head of state was the new president of the constitutional court, Adli Mansour.
The emerging army blueprint closely resembles proposals for a democratic transition put forward by the NSF, which appointed former UN nuclear watchdog Mohamed ElBaradei on Monday to negotiate with the military on the way forward.
The military sources said the new transition arrangements would be entirely different from the military rule that followed the overthrow of autocratic President Hosni Mubarak in a 2011 popular uprising.
Then, the armed forces' council held effective power but was widely criticised by liberal and left-wing politicians for failing to enact vital economic and political reforms, and siding with the Muslim Brotherhood.