During the reign of Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian generals could be contented that leaving the military leadership meant almost immediately being installed as a top official elsewhere. That trend is back in a big way.

Today, the Egyptian junta removed the last of the appointees of the ousted civilian government, and appointed 25 new provincial governors, 19 of them former generals, mostly Mubarak loyalists. Some of the appointees were even leaders in the bloody crackdown against protesters during the 2011 Egyptian revolution.

The move was immediately criticized, of course, by spokesmen for anti-coup factions, but was also condemned by many of the pro-coup groups as well, saying they were concerned by the step toward “militarization.”

Since the ouster of the elected government, the military has had de facto rule over the country to begin with, but had previously appointed figurehead civilians to “interim” posts to at least maintain the appearance that they were installing a new civilian government. The governors suggest that this sort of pretense is falling by the wayside.

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