Posted by Rafiq A. Tschannen
CAIRO: ARAB NEWS
Monday 13 August 2012
Egypt’s president ordered changes to the military top brass yesterday, including pensioning off Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi who served Hosni Mubarak for two decades, in a move that further stamps the new leader’s authority on the state.
President Muhammad Mursi also canceled a constitutional declaration that limited presidential powers and which the ruling army council issued in June, as voting in the election that brought Mursi to power drew to a close.
“Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi has been transferred into retirement from today,” presidential spokesman Yasser Ali said in a statement, appointing in his place as armed forces chief and defense minister Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
Mursi also ordered Chief of Staff Sami Enan to retire and appointed Gen. Sidki Sobhi in his place. Both Tantawi and Enan were appointed advisers to Mursi.
Gen. Mohamed El-Assar, who was appointed deputy defense minister, said the decision had been taken in consultation with Tantawi and the rest of the military council.
In further changes, Mursi appointed a judge, Mahmoud Mekky, as his vice president.
Meanwhile, Egyptian security forces killed six gunmen in a raid on a village in North Sinai early yesterday, witnesses said, as the military pressed a campaign against militants in the lawless peninsula.