World Bulletin / News Desk
Former Egyptian Justice Minister Ahmed Mekki on Wednesday warned that Egypt could descend into a possible Algeria-style civil war between the military and Islamists.
Egypt has remained in the throes of political turmoil since Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president, was ousted by the powerful army on July 3 following mass protests against his regime.
Thousands of Morsi supporters, meanwhile, have continued to stage daily protests nationwide to demand his reinstatement.
The situation took a dangerous turn, however, when police forces violently dispersed two main pro-Morsi protest sites in Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya Square and Giza's Nahda Square, leaving hundreds of protesters dead or injured.
"The army did not like the Islamists' rise to power," Mekki, who resigned months before Morsi's removal, told the Anadolu Agency.
"And there are no solutions to the crisis on the horizon because we will either have unfair elections or no elections at all," Mekki said.
"The defense minister [Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sisi] has said that ballots 'aren't enough'; that the people are the ones who bestow legitimacy," he added. "Yet when Islamists employ the same methods -- popular protest -- they are greeted with live ammunition."
Algeria saw a decade of violence after a general election won by an Islamist party was annulled by the powerful army. The move touched off a bloody civil war in which more than 150,000 people were believed to have died. ,
Egypt declares one-month state of emergency
Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour on Wednesday declared a month-long state of emergency as political violence rages countrywide.
In a statement, the presidency said the army was tasked with helping police "take whatever steps necessary to maintain security and order, protect public and private property and secure people's lives."
Declaring a state of emergency allows security forces to arrest citizens and carry out searches of homes and vehicles without judicial permission.