Egypt’s new president Mohammad Morsi sacks army chief
Egypt's Islamist president sacked the country's top generals on Sunday night in a dramatic attempt to stamp civilian control over an institution that has run the country for almost six decades.
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi swears in newly-appointed Minister of Defense, Lt. Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, in
Mohammad Morsi dismissed Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi as defence minister and head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the body that removed the former dictator Hosni Mubarak from power after the popular uprising last year.
In a clear signal that the balance of power was shifting away from the generals, Mr Morsi also issued a decree cancelling an army declaration that restricted the powers of the presidency.
Mr Morsi, who was elected in June and is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, appointed Mahmoud Mekki, a judge with an independent reputation, as vice-president and promoted Lt Gen Abdel Fattah al-Sissi to the post of defence minister.
Field Marshal Tantawi, 76, acted as Egypt's de facto head of state for 17 months after Mubarak was ousted in response to the Arab Spring demonstrations in Cairo. Before that he had headed the defence ministry for 20 years.
"Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi has been transferred into retirement from today," said Yasser Ali, a presidential spokesman. "The decision was sovereign by the president to pump new blood into the military establishment for the sake of developing the new, modern state."