Mursi loyalists slam Kerry comments on Egypt coup

CAIRO (AFP) - Supporters of Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Mursi on Friday slammed US Secretary of State John Kerry after he said the military was "restoring democracy" by deposing the Islamist leader.

"Is it the job of the army to restore democracy?" asked Gehad al-Haddad, a spokesman for Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood in a statement.

"Does Secretary Kerry accept Defence Secretary (Chuck) Hagel to step in and remove (US President Barack) Obama if large protests take place in America? "Will the US army freeze the constitution and dismantle Congress and (the) Senate? Can they appoint a president that they solely choose?"

Haddad's statement came after Kerry told Pakistan's Geo television on Thursday that the Egyptian military had acted to save the country from violence by ousting Mursi on July 3 after major nationwide protests.

"The military was asked to intervene by millions and millions of people, all of whom were afraid of a descendance into chaos, into violence," Kerry told Geo.

"And the military did not take over, to the best of our judgement - so far. To run the country, there's a civilian government. In effect, they were restoring democracy," he added.

Haddad called Kerry's comments "alarming", and accused the US administration of being "complicit in the military coup".

"The American people should stand against an administration that is corrupting their values in supporting tyranny and dictatorship," he added.

Washington has been at pains to avoid calling Mursi's ouster a coup, which would have immediate implications for its aid to the Egyptian military.