Zee Media Bureau
Cairo: As a 48-hours deadline set by Egyptian Army loomed nearer, President Mohammed Mursi on Wednesday remained adamant on his stance refusing to resign and said that he would stake his life for protecting "constitutional legitimacy".
"How can we protect our revolution from being stolen... I`ll tell you: the revolution of the 25th of January and its goals, protecting its legitimacy - the price for this is my life because I want to protect your lives," Mursi said.
In an impassioned address carried live on national television today morning, Mursi urged the Army to revoke the ultimatum.
"We all built our army with our blood, sweat and resources. We want a strong army," he said.
"I want my children (he means the army) to be self-determined, having their own weapons and be supported by all the people. Don`t you ever take the side of the supporters or opponents, because this is an insult to the army," he added.
Egypt`s embattled president has said he will not step down as demanded by millions of protesters, vowing to protect his "constitutional legitimacy" with his life.
The President spoke hours before a deadline from the country`s military to yield to the demands of millions of protesters or see the military suspend the constitution, disband parliament and install a new leadership.
Mursi`s defiant statement sets up a major confrontation between supporters of the president and Egyptians angry over what they see as his efforts to impose control by his Muslim Brotherhood, as well as his failure to introduce reforms more than two years after the revolution that ousted his autocratic predecessor Hosni Mubarak.
Meanwhile, at least 23 people were killed and more than 200 injured in Cairo on Tuesday, according to hospital and security officials.
Most of the killings took place outside Cairo University located at Cairo`s twin city of Giza when a march by Mursi supporters came under fire from gunmen on nearby rooftops.
There were multiple clashes between opponents and supporters of Mursi in Cairo as well as in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and other cities.
The violence raised the overall death toll to 39 since Sunday when a mass protest was held to mark the anniversary of Mursi`s inauguration.
With Agency Inputs