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Egypt: Decoding Morsi's Ousting of the Generals

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's recent decisions to terminate the jobs of Mohamed Hussein Tantawi as chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and Sami Anan as the chief of staff of the Egyptian Armed Forces created mixed reactions. The president also issued a new Constitutional Declaration that give him constitutional power.

Morsi was first perceived as weak and torn between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) but the latest decisions have asserted his position and enabled him to rebrand himself.

A TV screenshot featuring Mohamed Morsi surrounded by the Egyptian Army's top chiefs in the day of his inauguration as president. Photo from Flickr by Zeinab Mohamed (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

A TV screenshot featuring Mohamed Morsi surrounded by the Egyptian Army's top chiefs in the day of his inauguration as president. Photo from Flickr by Zeinab Mohamed (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Cairo-based journalist Bel Trew was puzzled by Morsi's move:

‏@Beltrew: Someone please put me out of my misery and explain how #Morsi could do what he did today and what it means and what #SCAF think. Someone.

Revolution back on track

Entrepreneur Ahmed Reza expressed his relief tweeting:

@ByRedz: The longest eeeeeeeh I've ever say in my life ! #Morsy #مرسي

Prominent activist Wael Ghonim tweeted:

‏@Ghonim: #Morsi recent decisions were a practical response to Western analysts who thought that #Jan25 was not a revolution rather a military coup.

Cairo-based Al Jazeera English reporter Rawya Rageh added with humour:

‏@RawyaRageh: Been resisting saying this since yesterday.. but I give in. #Morsi to Egyptians — “Who's your daddy now?”

Egypt Islamized?

Cartoon by Carlos Latuff in which Mohamed Morsi is reading a book entitled, “Erdogan's Path to Power” while sacking Mohamed Hussein Tantawi thus following the footsteps of Erdogan who fired twenty generals a week before.

Some have considered the move as an attempt to concentrate more power in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. Blogger Zeinab Mohamed posted:

Of course there is another team who does not approve these decision and believe it is a civilian coup against the military in order to start the Muslim brotherhood’s master plan in MB-ization of the army and the State in partnership with the States that want to destroy our army forever.

Blogger and Middle East analyst Nervana Mahmoud tweeted:

‏@Nervana_1: Forget Tantawi and Annan … This is not a soft coup, but a declaration of Islamic state. #Morsi #Egypt

Twitterati Gigi Ibrahim tweeted:

‏@Gsquare86: It is crystal clear that all state officials have one agenda, power. They will do anything to keep it, steal it, and expand it #Egypt #Morsi

What coup?

Others, however, doubted the efficiency of the move. Mohamed El Hebeishy tweeted:

‏@Hebeishy: This is not sacking..this is not even remotely close to sacking..this is safe exit while manipulating z ppl over & over again #Morsi #Egypt

Journalist Jano Charbel was unsatisfied by Morsi's decisions:

@JanoCharbel: Will eagerly partake in #Aug24 protests against #Morsi & #Brotherhood for their incompetence, lies, censorship &pardoning criminal generals!

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