Egypt deputy PM resigns in protest over Maspero clashes

Nada Hussein Rashwan, Tuesday 11 Oct 2011

Hazem El-Beblawi first Sharaf cabinet member to resign; minister also involved in row over social insurance and facing pressure to abort plan for public officials maximum wage

Hazem El-Beblawi (Photo: AP)

Hazem El-Beblawi, deputy prime minister and minister of finance, officially submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Essam Sharaf on Tuesday afternoon in protest at the government’s handling of the Maspero clashes that left at least 26 people dead.

The Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP), of which El-Beblawi is a member, discussed his resignation on Monday night, Samer Soliman, a member of the ESDP’s political committee, told Ahram Online.

The Maspero clashes, in which military police attacked a peaceful pro-Coptic march, has become known as Black Sunday.

El-Beblawi is the first member of Essam Sharaf’s Cabinet to resign in the wake of the night's violence.

Protesting army violence might not be the sole reason for his resignation. He was involved in a row with the minister of manpower over the new social insurance law, which comes into force in January.

El-Beblawi was also facing pressure to abort his plan for a maximum wage for officials and public servants.

When he was appointed to the government on 16 July 2011, he vowed to make the wage system transparent because "people have the right to know who is getting paid above the maximum wage, by how much, and its justification. If many in the public sector insist they have irreplaceable skills, let the people know about it", he told journalists in his first press conference.

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