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Morsi orders Egypt's army chief Mohamed Hussein Tantawi to retire

Morsi has been in a power struggle with the military since he took power June 30.

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Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo, Egypt on July 8, 2012. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's new leader, has ordered the country's powerful army chief Mohamed Hussein Tantawi to retire.

He has also ordered the retirement of military council Chief of Staff Sami Annan. 

Morsi, who has had tense relations with the military since he took power June 30, also struck down amendments to the constitution made by the military that gave top generals widespread power and curbed presidential jurisdiction, the Associated Press reported

It is still unclear whether President Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, is allowed to dismiss the head of the armed forces, or if Tantawi will accept the order, BBC News reported

According to a temporary constitutional declaration issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) before Morsi was sworn in to office, the president cannot rule on matters related to the military, including decisions about its leadership, according to the BBC. 

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Morsi has already appointed Sedqi Subhy to replace Annan as the new Chief of Staff, and Abdelfattah Assisi to replace Tantawi, according to RT News

Presidential Spokesman Yasser Ali told reporters that the changes among the military rulers are effective immediately, RT News reported. 

"The president's intervention is clearly an attempt to take decisive action in his tug of war for control with the armed forces," said the BBC's Egypt correspondent Yolande Knell. 

The President has already ordered the commanders of the navy, air defense and air force to retire, according to the AP. 

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/120812/morsi-orders-army-chief-tantawi-retire-egypt