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Tantawi to Remain as Egyptian Defense Minister

Field Marshal Hussein Mohamed Tantawi is to remain at his post as Egypt's Defense Minister in the new government cabinet.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 6/28/2012, 4:41 PM

Demonstrator holds poster of Tantawi
Demonstrator holds poster of Tantawi
Reuters

Field Marshal Hussein Mohamed Tantawi is to remain at his post as Egypt's Defense Minister in the new government cabinet.

Major-General Mohamed Assar, interviewed on a privately-owned CBC television talk show Wednesday night, said the 76-year-old military leader will remain as head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces as well.

Tantawi served for 20 years as defense minister under ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

The military has long operated in a synergistic relationship with the country's judiciary to maintain control over the nation, particularly in times of upheaval.

On June 14, the military supported a High Court decision to dissolve the Islamist-controlled parliament that was voted into power last October. The ruling, which cited irregularities in the polling process six months ago, places Tantawi and military commanders firmly in power until a new legislature could be elected.

Although the newly-elected President Mohammed Mursi represents the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, he will be vastly outnumbered on the more secular National Defense Council.

There he will sit together with his future prime minister – and at least a dozen army generals – to decide Egypt's defense and foreign policy.