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. – Arabnews