But after the deadline expired Wednesday, there were reports from some of Morsy's supporters that a coup was under way. The state-run newspaper Al-Ahram, citing an unnamed presidential source, reported that Morsy was told by 7 p.m. (1 p.m. ET) "that he is no longer a president for the republic."
4. What's the U.S. stance?
President Barack Obama spoke with Morsy this week and reiterated that the United States doesn't support a particular party or movement in Egypt, a U.S. statement said. Obama "stressed that democracy is about more than elections."
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki denied, however, that Obama urged Morsy to hold early elections.
Senior administration officials told CNN that a military coup would trigger U.S. legislation that calls for cutting off all American aid to Egypt. Psaki confirmed there were conditions on aid, but said "that's way ahead of where we are in the process."
Zakaria said many Egyptians are suspicious of American intentions and influence.
"At some level, no matter what the United States does, it gets blamed," he wrote on the Global Public Square blog. "For decades, it was blamed for supporting the military -- it was blamed for that even a year or two ago. Now the claim is that they're too pro-President Morsy."
5. What's next for the Muslim Brotherhood and for Egypt?
Morsy's removal offers no guarantee that the protests and violence will stop. It might even get worse.
The Muslim Brotherhood still has significant support in the country, and those supporters could lash out.
Zakaria called Morsy's removal "a fairly dangerous move."
The Brotherhood was "able to survive and flourish through five or six decades of complete persecution and an outright ban on their activities," he said, "so they're not going to go anywhere.
"They will be very passionate about trying to push back on this, and that suggests the tensions in Egypt are likely to get a lot worse before they get better."
Long-term, many fear this could set a dangerous precedent. It could also create more instability, Husain said, for a country that depends on tourists and international investment for economic prosperity.
"Hopes were raised," he said, "but now the democratic dream is coming apart before our eyes. ... Is it too late to save Egypt's democracy?"