Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi called for the creation of a consensus government on Wednesday just as the military's 48-hour ultimatum for a solution to the political crisis roiling the country expired.
Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood government made the offer in a statement that continued to fault the opposition for political paralysis that has sent millions of people into the streets.
Shortly after Morsi’s offer, the military summoned a number of civilian politicians to its headquarters for talks on charting a way forward, Reuters reported. These include opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, a bitter Morsi critic and former U.N. official that the Obama administration has reportedly been pushing as a potential prime minister.
While many Egyptians appear to welcome an intervention by the military to restore order and help get the economy back on track, Morsi has struck a defiant tone. He vowed Tuesday to fight to remain in power after being elected last June in the country's first free elections.
“The only plan,” Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad said in an online statement Wednesday, “is to stand in front of the tanks.”
Local Egyptian reports Wednesday said Morsi had been placed under house arrest, but those reports remain unconfirmed.