Egypt’s mass govt resignations choreographed
Al-Sisis had planned to resign as defense minister and pursue his presidential ambitions.
This was done as a step that was needed ahead of Sisi’s announcement
However, mass resignations of members of the military-backed government caught many by surprise this week.
According to an Egyptian official who wanted to remain anonymous, the mass resignations were choreographed so it did not appear as if al-Sisi was acting alone.
“This was done as a step that was needed ahead of Sisi’s announcement that he will run for president,” Reuters quoted the anonymous Egyptian official.
Al-Sisi led a July 2013 overthrow of elected Islamist President Mohamed Morsi and proceeded to crackdown on Islamists and liberals.
Critics have said the move to usher in al-Sisi would turn the clock back to the era of Hosni Mubarak.
The outgoing government, however, denies the claims, insisting they resigned because it was time for a change.
“We made every effort to get Egypt out of the narrow tunnel in terms of security, economic pressures and political confusion,” Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi said in a live nationwide speech.
The U.S. State Department has expressed surprise over the abrupt mass resignations within the interim government.
“Our focus … remains on pressing and encouraging Egypt to take steps forward… to a credible and transparent elections process,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
Egypt will continue to contend with pockets of the Muslim Brotherhood and a growing Islamist insurgency.
With billions of dollars in aid flowing in from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, a new Egypt might be underway marshaled by al-Sisi.
Presidential elections are expected within months.