Maktkampen mellom Brorskapet og de militære i Egypt tok en ny dramatisk vending søndag, ved nyheten om at president Mohammed Morsi sparket lederen av Det øverste militære råd, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, og forsvarssjefen.

In a news conference broadcast about 5 p.m., Mr. Morsi’s spokesman, Yasser Ali, announced the retirements of the defense minister, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, and the army chief of staff, Sami Anan. He said that both men would serve as advisers to the president, suggesting that they had acquiesced to the plan.

Mr. Morsi also named a senior judge, Mahmoud Mekki, as his vice president. During the Mubarak era, Mr. Mekki fought for judicial independence and spoke out frequently against voting fraud.

Field Marshal Tantawi, 75, had been expected to retire, but no timetable had been set, at least not publicly. Mr. Ali, praising Field Marshal Tantawi’s “invaluable services to the homeland,” said that the current chief of military intelligence, Abdul Fattah el-Sisi, would become the country’s new defense minister.

Det observatører spør seg om er hvor lenge det går før de militære gjennomfører statskupp og avsetter presidenten.

Morsi avsatt etterretningssjefen og guvernøren for det nordlige Sinai sist helg etter at 16 egyptiske soldater var blitt drept av terrorister.

Men dette var et skritt av et helt annet kaliber. Ved å avsette lederen for Det øverste militære råd signaliserer Morsi at de militære er underordnet ham. Det spørs det om de militære finner seg i.

The shake-up on Sunday went much further. Field Marshal Tantawi led the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the military leadership panel that took power after President Mubarak was toppled last year. The generals then fought to restrict the power of Mr. Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. Before Mr. Morsi was elected, the generals dissolved the Parliament, where Brotherhood members held about 50 percent of the seats.

Egyptian Leader Ousts Military Chief