Morsi Praised For Military Shake-up
The weekend's military shake-up ousted the powerful defense minister, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, senior military officials and annulled a constitutional declaration which handed increased political power to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Morsi insisted the reorganization was not meant to target at any individual.
"I did not mean to send a negative message about anyone, but my aim was the benefit of this nation and its people," Morsi said in his address to the crowd.
Those gathered in Tahrir Square, the site of the protests which toppled Mubarak, offered their support of Morsi's bold move.
"The people support the president's decision," the crowd chanted.
Morsi has been in a power struggle with the military since taking power this summer. Tantawi, who served for two decades under Mubarak, had appeared invincible as the SCAF continued to consolidate power. But after violence in the Sinai peninsula left 16 soldiers dead, Morsi seized the opportunity to reclaim power for civillian leaders.
"But whether it was about political score or really an issue of accountability," Al Jazeera’s Rawya Rageh said, "irrespective of the motives, this indeed was a political earthquake."
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