Egyptian leader ousts military chief


Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi ordered Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi into retirement and cancelled a constitutional addendum that hadstripped his office of some of its authority, state media reported today.

The decision affecting Tantawi was part of a reshuffle in the top tier of the armed forces, effectively sidelining the man who had headed the military council that ruled after the ousting of Hosni Mubarak and granted itself more powers at the expense of the presidency.

The decision to scrap the addendum marks the latest push by Mursi to reclaim full presidential authority.

Mahmoud Mekki was also appointed vice president today, state media reported. Mursi named Tantawi and armed forces chief of staff Lieutenant General Sami Enan as his advisers, as well as appointing a new defence minister.

Tantawi, who had served as Mubarak's long-time defence chief, was also appointed to the post under the government sworn in by Mursi earlier last month.