Egypt government resigns, army chief likely to take power

The government of Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawi said on Monday (24/02/2014) it has resigned, ahead of a presidential poll which will likely bring army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to power.

Sisi, by far the country’s most popular political figure, has not yet announced his candidacy for this spring’s presidential election, but aides say he has already decided to run and will make the announcement soon.

The field marshal, who is the defence minister and first deputy prime minister in the outgoing cabinet, has to resign from the government and the army before he can officially announce his nomination.

Beblawi’s government was appointed in July after Sisi ousted Islamist Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first elected and civilian president.

“The cabinet decided in light of the current situation that the country is going through… to submit its resignation to Adly Mansour, the interim president,” the cabinet said in a statement.

Beblawi praised the government’s performance on state television.

“For the past six to seven months, the government assumed its responsibilities and duties… the government did not spare any efforts to get Egypt out of a bad phase,” Beblawi said in reference to security and economic issues.

“This is not the time for personal interests. The nation is above everybody.”

Beblawi said the government had also completed the first step in a road map outlined by the military-installed authorities, by holding a referendum on a new constitution in January.

Government spokesman Hany Saleh told AFP that Monday’s decision was taken because there was a “feeling that new blood is needed”.

“Egypt is moving forward. This decision will not affect foreign relations or internal stability,” he said, adding it was still unclear which ministers from the outgoing cabinet would keep their posts. – Sapa-AFP

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