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MIDEAST > Morsi victory downs Mubarak’s morale

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Egyptian President Mubarak (C) listens to French First Lady Bernadette Chirac while French President Chirac looks on during their dinner in Paris in this 1998 photo. REUTERS photo

Egyptian President Mubarak (C) listens to French First Lady Bernadette Chirac while French President Chirac looks on during their dinner in Paris in this 1998 photo. REUTERS photo

Egypt’s ailing former strongman Hosni Mubarak is slipping in and out of a coma and his morale has plunged after news of Mohamed Morsi’s victory in the presidential polls, officials said.

“The former president has been greatly affected by the news of Morsi’s presidential victory,” said one of the officials at a Cairo military hospital where Mubarak was transferred last week. “According to medical reports, Mubarak’s morale has worsened. He is in depression and slips in and out of coma,” the official who declined to be named told Agence France-Presse. “His medical team is carrying out all sorts of tests on his brain and heart,” the source added.

Morsi, candidate of the formerly banned Muslim Brotherhood in the June 16-17 election, was confirmed as Egypt’s first democratically elected civilian president on Sunday, succeeding Mubarak.

Tantawi to remain defense minister

Meanwhile, Egypt’s armed forces chief will keep his post as defense minister in a new Cabinet to be formed by Morsi, a member of the military council said. Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, 76, who served as defense minister for two decades under Mubarak, will keep his post after Egypt’s first Islamist president takes over, Major-General Mohamed Assar said in a rare appearance on a talk show on privately-owned CBC television on Wednesday night.

“The (new) government will have a defense minister who is head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces,” he said. Asked if this meant Tantawi would keep his defense portfolio, Assar said: “Exactly. What is wrong with that? He is the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the defense minister and the commander of the armed forces.”

June/28/2012

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