Egypt president orders defence minister to retire

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has deposed the country's defence minister and a top military officer, pushing them into "retirement" but naming them as presidential advisors.

Supporters of Egypt's President Mohamed Mursi chant while carrying posters of him in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, August 12, 2012.  Credit: Reuters

Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, the defence minister who headed the military council that ruled Egypt for 17 months after the 2011 ouster of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak, and the military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Sami Anan, "will be sent to retirement", state-run Nile Television reported Sunday.

According to an announcement by Morsi's spokesman, the new head of the military would be Gen. Abdellatif Sisi.

Morsi also cancelled a constitutional declaration aiming to limit presidential powers which the ruling army council issued in June as the election that brought him to power drew to a close.

The president, who was elected in June, is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Relations between the Brotherhood and the military have been tense since the fall of Mubarak.

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