Sunday, August 12, 2012

Egypt’s president selects new defense minister, retires top commander

Former Egyptian Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi (file photo)

Source: Press TV

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has appointed a new defense minister and vice president, cancelling a constitutional declaration issued by the military restricting presidential powers.

On Sunday, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi was replaced as defense minister with Major General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Morsi also ordered the retirement of military chief of staff Sami Anan, replacing him with Sedqi Sobhi Sayyid Ahmed.

Mahmoud Makki, a former judge, was also appointed vice president.

Last week, Morsi sacked the country’s intelligence chief, the Republican Guard commander and the head of the military police days after gunmen killed 16 Egyptian border guards at a checkpoint near Egypt’s border with Israel.

The Egyptian president also fired Abdel Wahab Mabrouk, the governor of North Sinai, where the deadly attack took place.

The moves seem to be in response to the deadly violence at Egypt's border with Israel.

Under a constitutional declaration issued on June 17, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), which assumed power following the ouster of the Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, took control of the state budget and gave itself veto power over a new constitution, diminishing president’s powers.

Morsi was elected president on June 24 in a runoff against Ahmed Shafiq, who had served as Mubarak's last prime minister.

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