Morsi Aide Defends Purge Of Egyptian Military Chiefs

Article Summary
In a move that surprised many Egypt observers, President Mohammed Morsi removed two of the country’s senior generals and reclaimed full constitutional powers in a presidential decree. Morsi’s spokesperson explained to Al-Masry Al-Youm the rationale and justification behind one of post-revolutionary Egypt’s most controversial decisions.

Mohamed Fouad Jadallah, President Mohammed Morsi’s adviser for legal affairs, said on Sunday evening [August 12] that Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) head Mohammad Hussein Tantawi and General Sami Enan were unaware of their dismissal and the decision to annul the complementary constitutional declaration made by the SCAF to weaken the president's powers.

Jadallah pointed out that both generals were shocked by the decision and the news that a new constitutional declaration had been issued.

Jadallah told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the dismissals are not linked to last week’s Rafah border-crossing incident.

“Dr. Mohammed Morsi is the elected authority and responsible for executing his will as expressed in annulling the complementary constitutional declaration,” said Jadallah. “This will enable the president to to complete [the process of state building] and assume his powers under article 56, which gives him the power to legislate and make political decisions.”

Jadallah said Morsi was now the supreme commander of the Egyptian army and has the right to make all decisions, including injecting new blood into the armed forces.

Jadallah confirmed that President Morsi expressed his thanks to Tantawi and Enan, adding: ''Morsi is the only one capable of making any decision," and went on to say that “there has been no deal made between the SCAF and the presidency.”

On rumors that Morsi’s decision to dismiss Tantawi and Enan was deliberately made before calls for a fresh round of demonstrations — with the alleged aim of staging a coup d’état — Jadallah said: “This is nonsense and cannot be commented on.”

He added that all of Morsi’s decisions had been “made at the right time and in the interest of the Egyptian people.”

This comes after President Morsi decided on Sunday to appoint Mahmoud Makki as vice president and send Tantawi and Enan into retirement.

Morsi appointed Lieutenant General Abdel Fattah al-Sissi as his defense minister and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Major General Sedky Sobhy was appointed chief of staff of the armed forces.

President Morsi awarded Tantawi the Grand Collar of the Nile medal in recognition of his “great role” in Egypt’s military history and bestowed the Collar of the Republic medal on Enan. He also appointed both retirees as his advisers. 

Found in: tantawi, muslim, morsi, military council, military, egypt, cairo

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