Egypt's army has plans to push Mohamed Mursi aside and suspend the constitution after an all but impossible ultimatum it has given the Islamist president expires in less than 24 hours, military sources said.
Military sources said that, assuming the politicians failed to end a year of deadlock under Mursi before Wednesday's 5 p.m. (1500 GMT) deadline, the generals had their own draft programme ready to implement - though it could be fine-tuned in consultation with willing political parties.
Large crowds occupied the capital's Tahrir Square on Tuesday, as anti-Mursi demonstrators chanted and waved flags in anticipation of the premier's removal from power.
For many Egyptians, fixing the economy is key. Unrest since Mubarak fell has decimated tourism and investment and state finances are in poor shape, drained by extensive subsidies for food and fuel and struggling to provide regular supplies.
The Cairo bourse, reopening after a holiday, shot up nearly 5 percent after the army's move.
Presented by Adam Justice