Egypt’s Morsi Orders Top Military Officers to Retire

Posted August 12th, 2012 at 2:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has ordered his defense minister and military chief of staff to retire.

President Morsi replaced the outgoing defense minister Hussein Tantawi — a holdover from ousted President Hosni Mubarak's rule — Sunday with Abdel Fattah al-Sissi. He also has appointed a senior judge, Mahmoud Mekki, as vice president.

Tantawi had led the military council that ruled Egypt for the nearly year and a half between Mubarak's ouster and Mr. Morsi's election this June. In that time, the council approved a constitutional declaration that granted its top commanders wide powers.

On Sunday, Mr. Morsi canceled that declaration. It was not immediately clear if the military supported Mr. Morsi's decisions, but both Tantawi and the outgoing military chief of staff Sami Enan have been named as new presidential advisors.

This is the latest major reorganization following last week's announcement that Mr. Morsi fired his intelligence chief and the governor of North Sinai. That reorganization — which also extended to replacing the commander of the military police — came days after militants launched their bloodiest attack ever on the army in the Sinai Peninsula, killing 16 Egyptian border guards.