Egyptian government resigns, paving way for Sisi to run for president

CAIRO -- In a surprise move that paves way for army Field Marshal Abdel Fattah Sisi to run in the upcoming presidential election, Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem Beblawi announced his Cabinet's resignation on Monday.

According to Egyptian regulations, Sisi, who is still the country's acting defense minister, has to quit his military post before he can be nominated as a civilian candidate.


An Egyptian official was quoted by Reuters as saying that Sisi did not want to appear to be acting alone by solely submitting his resignation.

"This was done as a step that was needed ahead of Sisi's announcement that he will run for president," the official told Reuters.

Beblawi did not cite any specific motivations behind the unexpected resignation. Instead, he spoke of the immense responsibility his Cabinet has shouldered since its appointment.

"[The government] made every effort to get Egypt out of the narrow tunnel in terms of security, economic pressures and political confusion," the prime minister said in a live televised speech.

Beblawi was appointed as part of a series of steps announced by Sisi, the country's de facto ruler, following the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi in a popularly supported military coup last July.

He acknowledged a rising number of labor strikes in Egypt, but defended his Cabinet by saying that no government in the world could have fulfilled all the demands of its people in such a short period of time.

"In most cases, the results [of the Cabinet's work] were good," he added.

State news agency MENA announced that interim President Adly Mansour has asked Beblawi to run the government until the resignation is officially accepted and a new Cabinet is appointed.

Current Housing Minister Ibrahim Mehleb is expected to be tasked with heading the new Cabinet, according to state newspaper Al Ahram.

Hassan is a special correspondent.