Egyptians have celebrated President Mohamed Morsi’s decision to order the retirement of the head of the Army and Defense Minister, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Press TV reports.
Thousands of Morsi’s supporters gathered in the iconic Tahrir Square and outside the presidential palace in Cairo on Sunday night to voice support for the president’s decree, obliging top military officials’ dismissal from their positions.
The Egyptians’ backing for the reshuffle was rooted in their assertion that the suspension of the military’s addendum to the constitution and the dismissal of the members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which took over after the fall of the former dictator Hosni Mubarak, will pave the way for clearing the country from the remnants of the previous regime.
On Sunday, in a move that stunned many, the Egyptian president dismissed country’s top military officials and cancelled a military order, which had restricted presidential powers.
Tantawi was replaced as defense minister with Major General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The Egyptian chief executive also ordered the retirement of the military’s chief of staff, Sami Anan, replacing him with Sedqi Sobhi Sayyid Ahmed.
Waving Egyptian flags and holding up pictures of the president, the joyous crowd called for the trial of the dismissed officials, who are accused by the Egyptians of killing peaceful protesters.
“Every corrupt element in the government must be brought into justice and reform must take place in the government institutions, which have been plagued by corruption for so long,” an Egyptian citizen, present in Tahrir Square, told a Press TV
Among the people’s other demands was the release of the more than 11,000 political prisoners, who were unlawfully detained and referred to military tribunals of the former military council.
The Egyptian head of state also appointed Mahmoud Makki, a former judge, as vice president.
Last week, Morsi sacked the country’s intelligence chief, the Republican Guard commander, and the head of the military police days after gunmen killed 16 Egyptian border guards at a checkpoint near Egypt’s border with the Occupied Territories.
The Egyptian president also fired Abdel Wahab Mabrouk, the governor of North Sinai, where the deadly attack took place.