Sunday, August 12, 2012

Morsi fires Tantawi and Anan - presidential coup or deal with the army?

How it was: left to right: Marshall Tantawi, president Morsi, chief of staf Annan. (Al-Ahram Online) 

Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi cancelled the Constitutional Amendments on Sunday and sent the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and minister of Defense, Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi, as well as  Chief of Staff general Sami Anan to retirement. 
His move left the whole of Egypt puzzled for a couple of hours as to whether this was a deal between Morsi and the army or rather a 'presidential coup'. Clear answers have still not been given. What was cofirmed however, is that at least the men that were appointed in their place kew beforehad what was going to happen.
As replacemet for Tantawi as miister of Defense Morsi appointed the head of the military intelligence, Abdel Fatah El-Sisi. Sedky Sobhy, the commander of the Third Army, was appointed as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces.
Morsi also retired the Commander of the Navy, Mohab Memish, and appointed him as head of the Suez Canal Authority. Reda Hafez, the commander of the Air Force, was appointed as minister of Military Production. Mohamed El-Assar, the SCAF member in charge of armaments, was appointed as Deputy minister of Defence.
Fourth, Morsi appointed Mahmoud Mekki, the deputy head of the Cassation Court, as his Vice President.
Immediately following the announcement of their appointments, Mahmoud Mekki, Egypt’s new vice president, and Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, the new minister of defence, were both sworn into office before President Morsi shortly after 5pm on Sunday afternoon.
Both Tantawi and Anan were appointed advisers to the president. Tantawi received the Nile Medal, the highest state honor in Egypt, Anan got the State Medal.
Lateron president Mohamed Morsi issued a new constitutional declaration, granting the elected president all the powers detailed in article 56 of the 30 March 2011 constitutional declaration.
The powers Morsi enjoys as per this declaration includes full executive power and legislative powers as well as the authority to set all public policies in Egypt as well as signing international treaties.
The declaration also gives president Morsi the right to form a new constituent assembly to draft a new constitution for Egypt should any future developments prevent the current assembly from doing its duties.
Also this raises questions: all powers that per this Constitutional Declaration used to be in the hands of the military are now in the hands of the presidency. What happened, in fact, is that it shifted from SCAF to the presidet who beloged the Muslim Brotherhood. The big question here is: will he use it to lead Egypt to a new era of democracy or....?
 How it is now: Above El Sisi is sworn in before president Morsi as the new minister of Defense. Below judge Mekki becomes officially the vice-president.

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