Egypt's president asserts authority over army
Defence Minister Tantawi and army Chief of Staff Anan replaced and military-issued constitutional amendments cancelled.
The Egyptian president has ordered the powerful head of the army and defence minister, Field Marshal Hussein Mohamed Tantawi, into retirement and cancelled constitutional amendments issued by the military restricting presidential powers.
Mohamed Morsi announced through a spokesman on Sunday the dismissal of Tantawi and his appointment as a presidential adviser.
According to state television, Abdul-Fatah al-Sessi would replace Tantawi as defence minister and the general commander of the army.
Morsi also sent into retirement the chief of army staff, General Sami Anan, and appointed him as a presidential adviser.
Lieutenant-General Sidki Sayed Ahmed was named as Anan's replacement.
Morsi further appointed a senior judge, Mahmoud Mekki, as vice-president. All decisions are effective immediately.
Al Jazeera's Rawya Rageh, reporting from Cairo, said that would be no exaggeration to say that no one saw this one coming.
"After the June 5 attack on a border patrol left 16 soldiers dead, the countryís leadership - both civilian and in uniform - was peculiarly quiet," she said.
"Late and terse statements did not quench the publicís thirst for answers.
"But no one thought the price would extend to the head of the military and his deputy.
"After all, both Tantawi and Enan, the two most powerful members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), long appeared invincible - both during the period SCAF took control over the country and even after President Morsiís election in June."
The latest moves are seen as escalating the power struggle between Morsi, who took office on June 30, and the military.
In an address to the nation on Sunday evening, Mohammed Morsi said that the decision was not directed at individuals.
"The decisions I took today were not meant ever to target certain persons, nor did I intend to embarrass institutions, nor was my aim to narrow freedoms," Morsi said.