In a shocking incident, Egypt's former president Mohammed Morsi has reportedly died after fainting in a court session on Monday, according to Egyptian state TV news reports. Morsi who was ousted by the army in 2013, was attending a court session on Monday, facing espionage charges. He was 67.
Further details are awaited.
Mohammed Morsi, an engineer from Cairo University in the 1970s and a Ph.D. holder from the US was elected as Egypt's fifth president in 2012.
After joining the Muslim Brotherhood on returning from the US, he quickly rose through the party ranks as an MP to be nominated as the party's presidential candidate in 2012 after millionaire businessman Khairat al-Shater was forced to pull out from the race. Throughout his presidential campaign, he projected himself as the face against the revival of Hosni Mubarak, and he came to power after narrowly winning the elections.
But as soon as he came to power, he got mired in controversy as massive protests broke out against him as he allegedly mishandled the economy and failed to deal on his campaign promises. Moreover, he was also accused of concentrating power in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood, thus defeating his very campaign purpose.
As protests began building against him, Morsi issued a decree granting himself far-reaching powers. Subsequently, a rushed draft of a new constitution was passed by the Islamist-dominated constituent assembly, triggering mass protests throughout the nation. Amid increasing unrest, President Morsi issued a decree authorising the armed forces to protect national institutions and polling places until a referendum on the draft constitution was held on 15 December 2012, which amounted to a form of martial law.
This was followed by grassroots Tamarod (Revolt) protest movement organized by opposition activists calling for fresh presidential elections. The protests prompted the military to warn him on 1 July that it would intervene and impose its own "roadmap" if he did not satisfy the public's demands within 48 hours, after Morsi himself conceded his mistakes on the eve of his election anniversary.
While Morsi insisted he was the legitimate leader of Egypt, on July 3, the army suspended the constitution and announced the formation of a technocratic interim government ahead of new presidential elections. This 'coup' resulted in mass protests by Morsi's supporters to which the army responded by breaking up two protest camps in the capital by force on 14 August and arresting key Brotherhood figures.
Morsi was succeeded by Independent presidential candidate Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who was sworn into power in 2014.