By Ray Fleming

IN this space yesterday I said that Egypt had experienced an historic shift in its military-civilian balance of power as the elected president Mohamed Morsi succeeded in removing the old guard of the military and replacing them with younger officers more sensitive to the consequences of the country's revolution. How many times during that revolution was it said that the real difficulties in finding a new formula of governance for Egypt would lie in the months and years ahead as long-established institutions were reformed or replaced? After months of uncertainty and confusion that process of change has now begun and it is important that friends of Egypt who wanted their brave people to enjoy the fruits of their revolution should beware of premature criticism of President Morsi. Already yesterday his success in reforming the military was being qualified by criticism that he has taken too much power. Yet in a situation where no constitution exists and the elected parliament has no power it is difficult to see how else Morsi could have acted. A draft of the constitution should be ready for review in September or October and put to a referendum for approval. New parliamentary elections could then follow. In the meantime Morsi's appointment of Mahmoud Mekki as Vice-President brings into the government one of the most respected members of the Egyptian judiciary. So far, so good.

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