Sunday, August 12, 2012
A spokesman says Egypt's president has ordered the defence minister and chief of staff to retire and has cancelled the military-declared constitutional amendments that gave top generals wide powers.
President Mohammed Morsi also appointed a senior judge, Mahmoud Mekki, as vice president.
Morsi appointed a new defence minister, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
He replaces Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who headed the military council that ruled Egypt for 17 months after Hosni Mubarak's ouster in February 2011. Tantawi was defence minister for nearly two decades under Mubarak.
The military council's No. 2, Chief of Staff Sami Anan, was also ordered to retire
In addition, Morsi ordered the retirement of the commanders of the navy, air defence and air force. The retired navy commander, Lt. Gen. Mohan Mameesh, was named as chairman of the Suez Canal, the strategic waterway linking the Red Sea and the Mediterranean and a major source of revenues for the country.
The decisions announced Sunday are effective immediately, spokesman Yasser Ali said in a news conference that aired on state TV.
"The decision was based on consultation with the field marshal and the rest of the military council," General Mohamed el-Assar told Reuters.
The shakeup comes only days after Morsi fired his intelligence chief and the governor of Northern Sinai on Wednesday following a weekend attack by suspected militants in Sinai who killed 16 soldiers.