Egypt's Beblawi government resigns

Ahram Online, Monday 24 Feb 2014

Egypt's Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi (Photo: Egypt's Cabinet Facebook page)

Egypt’s Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi announced on State TV Monday that his cabinet has submitted its resignation to interim President Adly Mansour.

Following a 15-minute meeting with the cabinet early on Monday, Beblawi said “reform cannot take place through the government alone,” adding that all Egyptians should strive to achieve the change they aspire to. 

Beblawi also mentioned that Egypt currently faces huge challenges as well as great opportunities to be grasped. “It is time we all sacrificed for the good of the country. Rather than asking what has Egypt given us, we should instead be asking what we have done for Egypt,” he added at the end of his short televised speech.

A prominent economist and politician, Beblawi was named prime minister last July following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi and his prime minister Hisham Qandil’s government amid massive protests on 30 June 2013.

Beblawi’s government was subjected to criticism over the past few weeks by all colours of the political spectrum in Egypt.

He was criticised by many for taking too long to declare the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation in the wake of an upsurge in terrorist attacks on the police and army in the aftermath of the violent dispersal of pro-Morsi camps last August.

More recently, his cabinet came under fire by disgruntled workers after the exclusion of crucial groups of public sector workers from qualifying for a newly passed minimum wage law fuelled fury among workers, leading to strikes in a number of crucial sectors of the economy.

Public transport workers, textile workers, low-ranking policemen, postal workers and doctors are among a number of governmental sectors that went on strike in the past few days.

An official source told Ahram Online that Interim President Adly Mansour is expected to accept the cabinet's resignation and commission Ibrahim Mahleb, minister of housing in Beblawi’s government, to form the new cabinet. 

In his statement, Beblawi, a co-founder of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party,  said his government had accepted the responsibility at the time of its appointment because its ministers were among the few willing to face that challenge, and not because they were the most qualified.

El-Beblawi served as undersecretary-general at the UN between 1995 and 2000.

He was minister of finance in Essam Sharaf's cabinet from July to October 2011 during Egypt's post-revolution army-administered transitional phase.

He resigned in October 2011 to object to clashes in Cairo's Maspero district between military police and Coptic protesters in which 28 of the latter were killed.

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