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Tue Aug 14, 2012, 11:59 AM

Egypt Military Signals It Won’t Contest Move on Generals [View all]

By Tarek El-Tablawy - Aug 14, 2012 11:49 AM ET

Egypt’s military council signaled it won’t oppose President Mohamed Mursi’s decision to retire the nation’s two top generals as he seeks to cement his authority after a power struggle with the army.

The leadership change was “natural” and responsibility has shifted “to a new generation of Egypt’s sons to begin a new journey” to protect the nation, according to a statement posted yesterday on a Facebook page affiliated with the council.

Mursi, who has been locked in a tug-of-war with the military council since he took office in late June with the backing of the Muslim Brotherhood, ordered the retirement of Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi and armed forces Chief of Staff Sami Enan. He also claimed legislative powers by voiding a constitutional decree enacted by the military on June 17, further asserting his authority in a nation whose population is growing increasingly disgruntled about power cuts, security lapses and a weak economy.

“This was probably the Brotherhood’s greatest tactical success, that it was able to build strong-enough links with some members of SCAF in order to exploit personal differences and tap into opportunism rather than ideology,” Hani Sabra, Middle East analyst with the Eurasia Group, wrote in an e-mailed note. Members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces “essentially want to benefit financially from advancing in military ranks.”



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