Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy – who was sworn into office only six weeks ago – has successfully forced Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, Defence Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the Chief of Staff, Sami Anan, into retirement.
This stunning and unprecedented move has surprised Egyptians and Middle East analysts alike. Just weeks ago, Tantawi and his elite inner circle showed now signs of conceding power. In June the military issued a decree to dissolve Egypt’s Islamist-led parliament and suspended the constitution.
Why the sudden and drastic change?
President Morsy and the Muslim Brotherhood have been waiting for an opportunity to flex their muscle and exert more influence. Last week’s horrific terrorist attack in Sinai in which Islamists killed sixteen Egyptian soldiers provided Morsy the perfect justification, especially after it was revealed that Egyptian intelligence knew such an attack could occur but ignored the warnings.
Stay tuned as these events continue to unfold.
1 thought on “Morsy Consolidates Power”
The question in my mind is, why did not the Army resist this imposition of retirement? Does this mean that the Army lacked the power to reject the presidential order, or is it that they were unwilling to do so? This case involves the most powerful men in Egypt. Or is it that the rest of the military, at the echelon just below them, refused to support them? Or were they afraid to do so or were they motivated by either the personal ambition to rise or personal dedication to the new political realities? I think that in this case political science must wait for history to unfold and recede into the past. The exile or emigration from Egypt of these former officials, or their arrest would help answer these questions. Even more telling would be the reaction of the Egyptian military to such events. It is hard to imagine that they will be left entirely alone and free to pursue whatever business or political activities that they want to or even to be allowed to enjoy unhindered a quiet and sedentary retirement dedicated to family. The historical record of the aftermath Middle Eastern regime change and its effects upon previous high officials of government and even their friends and supporters does not foreshadow a an idyllic future for these men and their families. Of course, as stock brokers caution, past performance is no guarantee of future results.