New President’s Dismissals Shock Egypt’s Politicos

New Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is asserting his authority in the boldest move he’s made since assuming the nation’s top job.

NPR’s Leila Fadel reports to our Newscast Desk that Morsi just forced the country’s two top generals to retire and revoked a constitutional declaration by the generals that had stripped many of his presidential powers.

“A spokesman for Egypt’s president says that Morsi demanded that the country’s chief of staff and defense minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi retire, along with the second in command of the military council, Sami Annan.

“The move sent shock waves through the political establishment. Morsi has so far been hesitant to challenge the military authority. Until today, the country’s top generals still held most of the reins of power.

“But on Sunday, the spokesman Yasser Ali said in a news conference that the president also cancelled a controversial constitutional amendment that gave the top generals vast powers, including veto power over all governmental decisions.

“He appointed a new defense minister, Abedl Fattah el Sissi and appointed a new Vice President Mahmoud Mekki, Leila Fadel NPR NEWS, Cairo.”

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