Egypt’s military-backed government resigns

Defence Minister, al-Sissi plans to run for president in April
The Egyptian Prime Minister, Hazem Beblawy, on Monday announced the resignation of his military-backed government.

Local media had been predicting a limited cabinet reshuffle which would allow Army Chief and Defence Minister, Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, to resign and run for president in an election scheduled for mid-April – thanks to a constitution approved in a referendum last month.

Mr. Al-Sissi, who has been glorified in state and private media since he deposed the democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, will have to resign from the military in order to contest the election.

In January, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the country’s top military body, approved Mr. al-Sissi’s anticipated candidacy.

Mr. Beblawy, who was appointed after Mr. Morsi was deposed in July, 2013 made the announcement during a press conference broadcast live on state television.

He had earlier met President Adly Mansour. State-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported online that Mr. Mansour had asked Mr. Beblawy to remain as caretaker premier until a new appointment was made.

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“The Council of Ministers today decided to present its resignation to the President of the Republic,” Mr. Beblawy said, offering no explanation.

State television reported that a regular cabinet meeting had discussed strikes, fuel shortages and deteriorating security.

“With the passage of the (new) constitution, Egypt has made a major stride on its way to building an open democratic society,” Mr. Beblawy said. “The greatest responsibility lies with the people. The government works under the supervision of the people.”

Mr. Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president is facing four separate trials on charges of espionage and conspiring to commit acts of terror. Hundreds of supporters of his party, the Muslim Brotherhood, have been killed and thousands detained in a crackdown since his overthrow.

(dpa/NAN)

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