- Title: EGYPT: Cairo residents support President Mursi's decision to remove generals.
- Date: 13th August 2012
- Summary: CAIRO, EGYPT (AUGUST 13, 2012) (REUTERS) NEWSPAPER STAND IN DOWNTOWN CAIRO NEWSPAPERS
- Embargoed: 28th August 2012 13:00
- Location: Egypt
- Country: Egypt
- Topics: Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA33LOEZERQ9FHZHGFWJ1PYWHSX
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Residents in the Egyptian capital Cairo say time for military to go.
Egyptians on Monday (August 13) threw their support behind President Mohamed Mursi's decision to dismiss Egypt's top military generals as a necessary change for the transitional period.
Mursi dismissed on Sunday (August 12) both Defence minister, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, and Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Sami Enan to retirement.
The move further stamps Mursi's power over the country and its army.
"It can be said that starting today, the country is no longer under military rule. Military rule is now over and Egypt will become a civil state in which everyone will be entitled to their rights," said Cairo resident Badawi Sayed Mahmoud.
Tantawi, 76, was acting head of state before Mursi took over in June since Hosni Mubarak was toppled last year.
His position as the head of the military council brought upon mounds of criticism over his handling of a rocky transitional period.
The move sidelines Tantawi, Mubarak's defence minister for two decades and whose continued presence had cast a shadow of military rule over the new democracy, and whittles away powers still held by the army, from whose ranks all Egyptian presidents for the past 60 years had been drawn until the voting in June.
Liberals and other political rivals of the Brotherhood have voiced concerns at the growing might of the Islamists, who for decades were hounded and jailed by Mubarak and his predecessors. But they have also been wary of the army's continuing role.
Another Cairo resident Ahmed Sayed said he was for the change but believed tthe generals' experience and opinions should have been kept close in politics for a little longer.
"These people led the country through very difficult times. They shouldn't be put on retirement all of a sudden and that is why President Mursi appointed Tantawi and Sami Enan as his advisers. The Egyptian people must give thanks and salute them because they led the country through grueling times. But when speaking about the coming phase, it definitely needs change, and this change must be an overall change, slow and controlled. (President Mursi) thought the matter through, and took a decision after seeing that the coming phase needs change," he said.
Tantawi's age had meant that his departure had been long expected in some form, and his appointment as an adviser to Mursi appeared to exclude the possibility he might face the kind of prosecution that saw Mubarak, now 84, jailed for life.
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