Sunday, 12 August 2012

Egypt leader Mursi orders army chief Tantawi to resign

Islamist President Mohamed Mursi ordered Egypt’s two top generals to retire, including Hussein Tantawi who led the nation after Hosni Mubarak was ousted, and appointed two generals in their place, the presidential spokesman announced on Sunday.

President Mohamed Mursi also cancelled a constitutional declaration aiming to limit presidential powers which the ruling army council issued in June as the election that brought Mursi to power drew to a close.

Defence Minister Tantawi, who served Mubarak as a minister for 20 years, and Chief of Staff Sami Enan were both appointed as advisers to Mursi. Spokesman Yasser Ali said the changes among Egypt’s top brass were effective immediately.

He also said a constitutional declaration aimed at curbing presidential powers had been cancelled.
Mr Mursi, who was elected in June, is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Relations between the Brotherhood and the military have been tense since the fall of President Hosni Mubarak.
It is not clear whether the president has the power to sack the head of the armed forces, or whether Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi will accept the moves.

Under an interim constitutional declaration issued before Mr Mursi was sworn in, the president cannot rule on matters related to the military - including appointing its leaders.
The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf), which issued the declaration, also dissolved the Egyptian Parliament, which is dominated by the president's Islamist allies.
As head of the Scaf, Field Marshal Tantawi became Egypt's interim ruler after President Mubarak was ousted following mass protests in February last year.
Sunday's presidential announcement also said armed forces chief of staff Sami Annan was retiring.

 Asian Defence News

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