Egypt's Tantawi keeps defence ministry post

Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi will keep his post as defence minister in Egypt's first Muslim Brotherhood-led administration, Prime Minister-designate Hisham Kandil said on Thursday, preserving a formal role in cabinet for the influential army.

Tantawi served as former president Hosni Mubarak's defence minister for two decades until the military assumed power in February, 2011, ending a mass uprising against Mubarak's rule.

The military formally handed power to President Mohamed Mursi at the end of June. But generals remain at the heart of power and play a role in the country's civilian administration under a decree they issued on the eve of Mursi's election.

Their powers include the authority to pass laws following their dissolution of the Brotherhood-led parliament. 

The new cabinet - due to be sworn in on Thursday - replaces one led by Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri, a premier under Mubarak and appointed by the military council late last year. 

Other incumbents who keep their jobs include Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr and Finance Minister Mumtaz al-Saeed.

Irrigation minister in Ganzouri's government, Kandil was a little-known technocrat until Mursi chose him as prime minister.


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